Turns out the more often you need help, the more likely you are to give help.
Our nervous system sure does seem to support the claim that caring for each other is core to human survival.
It's like our brains were built to share each other's experiences. We have mirror neurons!
So why is it that the poor are so often more charitable and cooperative than the rich?
And they really are more charitable. University of California Berkeley psychologist Dr. Dacher Keltner has been studying this. He and his team showed rich people and poor people universal images of suffering like people starving or in pain.
Here's what he found.
Poor communities often see its members in need and are more likely to come together to help each other.
Even though they have less resources to spread around, they somehow know that they can accomplish more together than they can separately.
But if you don't need help very often, you don't cooperate very often.
If you don't cooperate very often, it's harder to feel compassion and empathy for others. It becomes easy to assume that no one else needs help because you don't need help. It becomes harder to put yourself in other people's shoes because you don't have to do it very often.
But you don't have to be rich to lose your empathy.
Think of it like a muscle. Look for opportunities to cooperate and help others. Challenge yourself to get those mirror neurons going and put yourself in other people's shoes (especially if you disagree with them).
Don't stop now! Trust me, there's way more to the science of kindness.
And you don't want to miss it.