Andrea Lynn, Writer
Andrea Lynn, Writer

Survival of the fittest, or,  of the most compassionate?

That's the first question undergraduates meet in the ROCK (Roots of Compassion and Kindness) courses I teach. Then, we write about ice. 


Naturalist Charles Darwin is certainly best known for the theory of natural selection. In 1859, Darwin published his thoughts about evolution and natural selection in On the Origin of Species. But a deeper look into his writing summons a wider perspective. Psychologist Paul Ekman offers a glimpse into the views of Darwin as related to compassion (in Darwin's terms, the word was "sympathy" as is noted in the presentation). 


I ponder the above question continually with my students as we consider individuality alongside (not versus) belonging and seek to understand compassion's vital role in our interconnected world. 

ROCK is the incredible initiative housed at Florida Gulf Coast University that promotes compassion, kindness, and empathy through education, action, and research.