Cooperating for the common good


Being alone is no way to live, and so humans, being communal animals, evolved specific biological reactions to social threats. Those living on the periphery of their tribes faced increased risks of starvation, predation and early death.

Today, feelings of isolation may result in nervous behavior and unhealthy physiological responses that cause the body to produce stress-related bio-chemicals, leading to inflammation and reduced ability to fight off infections.

Loneliness also impacts how one sees the world and how one responds to increased risks to his security and wellbeing.

And so the Malpai Borderlands Group, recognizing the dangers of living on the periphery of their tribe in our harsh Southwestern deserts, has chosen to formalize “neighboring,” taking on the social responsibilities of caring for one another in the self-interest of each of them (“Good Neighbors,” HCN, 12/7/15).

Thanks for sharing a wonderful lesson about respect, responsibility and restraint. We should welcome more such examples.

Hugh Jameson
El Paso, Texas

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