As discussed in other posts, the human herd instinct is made up of a number of companion instincts that function together. When in balance, these instincts both encourage cooperation among people, as well as a health competitive spirit bringing out a drive in people to achieve their best at anything they do.
The Community Instinct is the part of the herd instinct that drives humans to cooperate and assist each other during difficult times. Of course when humanity evolved, life was pretty tough with survival being a moment to moment concern. In these harsh conditions, every human’s chance of survival was enhanced with a herd mentality. Many hands made gathering of food easier, protection and care when injured or sick was possible, and of course safety in numbers from predators and rival herds.
Since the times when humans most profited from mutual cooperation and community was during times of hardship, it is no wonder that the Community Instinct will manifests itself during times of crisis. We all have seen it many times, when disaster strikes we see humans coming together to save each other. One recent example was the attacks on the World Trade Center in NY. Just look at how many rescue personal made the trip to New York to do whatever they could to help. Just thinking about it makes me proud to be a human.
However as all things, if one thing brings on a strong reaction, then likely the opposite will bring on a weaker response. That certainly holds true with the Community Instinct. Humans are just better to each other when our community is under threat, then during times of peace, prosperity, and security. If you recall the weeks after the attacks on the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon, everyone was just good to each other. Inside we all felt it that we were under attack, and as such we all found that we could not even consider selfish actions. Even drivers on the highway were polite to each other. Studies showed that in many communities crime just stop for as much as 10 days after the attack. Donations to charities were up, and volunteers to provide community assistance were so great that waiting lists needed to be generated.
I look forward to your comments and questions.