La bondad de los extraños

NEW HAVEN – Reconozco que es una forma inhabitual de ver el mundo, pero, al leer el periódico, me asombra constantemente la amplitud de la bondad humana. La buena noticia más reciente procede del Centro de Estudios de la Riqueza y la Filantropía del Boston College, según cuyos cálculos los americanos aportarán unos 250.000 millones de dólares de contribuciones caritativas individuales en 2010, varios miles de millones más que en el año pasado.

Hay quienes donan su sangre a extraños, viajan en misiones humanitarias a lugares como, por ejemplo, Haití y el Sudán y arriesgan su vida para luchar contra la injusticia en otros lugares. Y los neoyorquinos se han acostumbrado a leer noticias sobre héroes del metro: seres valerosos que saltan a las vías para rescatar a viajeros caídos y después desaparecen con frecuencia, por sentirse incómodos ante el interés público por su mérito.

Como psicólogo, me fascinan el origen y las consecuencias de semejante bondad. Algunos de nuestros sentimientos y motivaciones morales son resultado de la evolución biológica. Eso explica por qué somos bondadosos a menudo con nuestra propia carne y sangre: quienes comparten nuestros genes. También puede explicar nuestros apegos morales a quienes vemos como miembros de nuestra tribu inmediata.

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