We are prosocial

Henry Roi – December 2019

Drawing on the work of Paul W Watkins, Henry Roi explores how the concept ‘ prosocial’ applies to our society in Mississippi and beyond, and how an understanding of this concept could help to transform how we approach Criminal Justice.

Prosocial: Using Evolutionary Science to Build Productive, Equitable, and Collaborative Groups

We are prosocial.

We have an interest in protecting the primary resource for the future: our kids.

Within a group, individuals that act selfishly outperform individuals that are selfless. On a higher level, groups dominated by selfless people consistently outperform groups dominated by selfish people.

Our group – the State of Mississippi – ranks among the lowest in education and health care, resulting in high rates of poverty and addiction and incarceration.

Is this because we are too selfish?

Look at the people around you. Are you acting selfish because they are, too?

If we acted SELFLESSLY, for the group, and made our governing body appropriate more resources to education and health care – educate kids and keep them healthy – fewer would be incarcerated. For those that do go to prison, they are more likely to be rehabilitated in a smaller prison population than in a large one.

Kids with 47 Years aims to make a difference for our group on a higher level. The more pressure applied in this direction – giving kids a chance for parole and thus decreasing the prison population so resources are better spent – the more we will outperform other groups.

We would love to hear any thoughts or ideas on this, or how you think we could outperform other groups.

November 2019