For many years, humanity has had to work as a group to achieve common goals. Since the beginning of time, we have had to cooperate to survive, hunt for food, make fire, and learn from each other. The key to human evolution has always been cooperation.
In a society where one is judged by his social and economic status, by being part of a capitalist system, it’s easy to be led by greed and selfishness when thinking about our interests. However, over the years, this instinctive behavior has slowly been fading away, and the main reason is the lack of need to work together to achieve our necessities. It’s safe to say that people have become very individualist in the aspect of their welfare.
Revolutionary sociologist Peter Kropotkin wrote a book called “Mutual Aid.” He describes mutual aid as the practice of understanding and getting involved in the well-being of the people around you. These can be your family, friends, neighbors, associations, or any other kind of community.
In this book, Kropotkin compares human and animal behavior. The human is blinded by his grief, and he isn’t capable of achieving his goals, even having more resources, knowledge, and intelligence than animals. But yet again, ants are capable of building bridges and organizing themselves much better than humans. Birds can communicate with each other every spring and fall to migrate together to another country by crossing seas and far lands.
There are many ways in which someone can get involved in mutual cooperation. By simply having an open mindset during your day-to-day, it’s great that we subconsciously help each other out, without expecting anything in return, just because we genuinely want the best.
Volunteering is a good way of spreading solidarity throughout the community, creating a network of people that share the same goals and interests. It is also a great way to socialize and make friends. It is also good to participate in local actions through our local clubs, schools, associations, and work.
Overall, mutual aid consists mainly of the practice of empathy with others, considering their situation is entirely different from yours and that they need help, the same way that you would need help if you were in their position.
– Competition is the law of the jungle, but cooperation is the law of civilization.