Monday, March 07, 2005

Notes from Aspen - Humans are social beings

I sit here on a beautiful day in Aspen, CO – bright sunshine, snow covered mountains, and brisk clean air – participating in a seminar at the Aspen Institute as a part of the Liberty Fellowship.

For a couple of days the conversations have been how communities form and what benefits they provide to individuals. We have looked at ancient sages, from Plato to Confucius, to more modern writers, such as John Stuart Mill and Milton Freeman.

One idea they all have in common is humans are social beings. Communities help individuals realize their full potential, while restraining our worst instincts.

My overriding thoughts have been how all this applies back home to our efforts to form a more innovative and productive community that can be globally competitive. At the end of the day, people will protect their own self-interest, but people can be inspired to work together in their mutual self-interest to accomplish great things that are bigger than individuals.

I looking forward to getting home and putting into practice concepts that have proven the test of time.

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