Social Evolution, Trust, and Happiness

How often have various philosophers and religions told us about the unseen connections between humans and the collective identity of humanity? We should know by now that there is a profound energy that runs between all of us. It is a complex, social phenomenon.

There are many complex connections that shape and influence the human current that runs between us: our evolving human mind, our personal and professional networks, our ideas and our history. We each play a role in the development and evolution of our humanity and the energy that binds us, our human current.

Our lives have always depended on other humans, but our dependencies to one another grow with time.  As the world population increases, people adapt by expanding their networks, establishing more relationships, and joining more social groups. And, “the increasing size of such expanded social groups in turn entailed further social brain development, ultimately giving rise to the present form of the human social brain.”

Our ever-changing world demands that humanity keeps up with social evolution; therefore, we are now equip with a larger neocortex in order to carrying out and maintain more complex human interactions. This social brain evolution has gradually altered our needs and contributed to how we search for happiness.

The world happiness report is a survey which examines personal and national variations in happiness. And, their research continually recognizes that no matter a person’s nationality or lifestyle factors, “we are social animals through and through. We learn through imitation, and gain our happiness through meeting social norms and having a sense of belonging to the community.” (p. 5).

Overtime, human experience has taught us that mutual social interactions are rewarding, while social rejection or disapproval can be painful and feel similar to physical pain. Therefore, social trust has become a critical factor to our social resilience and our happiness.

So we must ask ourselves: how are we identifying with and showing up in social systems? Are we nurturing our social brains and projecting trustworthiness to others?

“The most realistic approach to building trust is to be trustworthy, and to make conscious efforts to help others where possible.” - Josh Morgan


You can listen to the HumanCurrent podcast here and don't forget to subscribe in iTunes. Stayed tuned for this week's episode where Stacy and Angie discuss what the term HumanCurrent means to them and they introduce our next guest, sociologist and fellow podcaster Josh Morgan. -- Let's work happy!