Prosocial Progress: Social Sustainability

2013, Society  -  55 min Leave a Comment
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The culture is stronger if each member develops himself as fully as possible, but we have to take the future of the culture into account. You want to build the individual so that he is most effective, most capable of doing what may need to be done to survive, in order the culture to survive. So how do you move from a culture in which each man is out entirely for himself to a culture in which the individual takes another person into account?

What kind of world do we want our children to develop in? How should we plan our social environments? How can we attain a substantial culture? Children are the new seeds of society, requiring carefully planned environments to develop as effectively as possible.

Prosocial people are inclined to be oriented toward helping other people, oriented toward their own self-development and so they engage in quite a wide range of behaviors, involving helping others, but also developing themselves. Prosociality is sort of useful, general concept to describe the kinds of things that we need to achieve in raising children in adolescents.

Societies that have more prosocial people are going to be more successful. Families and schools are the two most important environments that affect children's development and what we need to do is make sure that families and schools become nurturing places that richly reinforce prosocial behavior, that minimize toxic social conditions like coercion, that prevent opportunities for kids to develop problem behavior.

Your behavior is always going to be governed by some principles so the more you understand them the better you can deal with the world. Many of the problems and their solutions involve human behavior and if we're misunderstanding human behavior, if we're thinking it's caused by independent, spontaneous, inner agents inside us that do whatever they want, we may not be able to solve the problems. If we're viewing behavior scientifically as another natural phenomenon then we have access to some variables.