THE BROKEN WINDOW

Who has better chances of survival — the most selfish or the least selfish? What is better for survival — combat or networking, competition or cooperation?  According to one view, evolution by natural selection shapes organisms to fit their environment. Another view claims that living things alter their world to suit their needs.  In nature, survival is based on adaptability, connectivity, communication, and cooperation. In other words, it is the whole ecosystem that has to evolve, if one wants to evolve. One of the messages is ‘if you want to succeed, others must succeed as well’. In other words, both competitive and cooperative spirits must co-exist for a healthy evolution. According to one interpretation, the driving force of evolution is not to be found in the chance events of random mutations but in life’s inherent tendency to create novelty.  This view recognises that cooperation in the evolutionary process is of vital importance. Some believe that life did not take over the globe by combat, but by networking.

Combat happens, because in some situations, combat can’t be avoided.  Competition and cooperation are essential, as growth and decay are, for our existence and continuance. Compete and when that is over, sync and swim together. “You don’t have to be perfectly adapted to survive; you just have to be as well adapted as your competitors.”  We are more like chameleons. We instinctively change our behaviour as per the demands of our surroundings. Selfishness works only in the presence of goodness. A person of competitive spirits likes to be surrounded by the most competent. Only a smart hires a real smart.

According to a theory, called the broken windows theory put forward by James Wilson and George Kelling, people who are otherwise well-behaved, are more likely to commit crimes in neighbourhoods with broken windows. The ‘broken window’ area’s residents don’t care enough to maintain their property. The theory, rightly or wrongly, suggests that broken windows encourage vandalism. The more litter there is, more the waste accumulates.

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