Silver Lining: what survival of the fittest means in real life

September 20, 2012

what survival of the fittest means in real life

Survival of the fittest.

In its most basic form, it means that whichever species is the most well-adapted to their surroundings survives and reproduces. Many times, it's the biggest, strongest, toughest, most aggressive species that survives the best.

But recently, I had an experience as a teacher that made me think differently about it.

It was time to change seats. My students each wrote the names of three people in the class they'd like to sit by, and then I made the seating chart. What I noticed as I read those papers is that the same few people were listed on almost everyone's paper.

It wasn't the most aggressive students that everyone wanted to sit by. It wasn't the biggest or strongest or toughest.

It was the kindest.

Everyone put down the most kind, caring, and responsible students on their paper. They didn't want to sit by those who make fun of other people, those who call out in class to get attention, or those who feel the need to gather a little following behind them {not that I have many of those. I have an amazing class.}. 

And it got me thinking - maybe the world doesn't need any more tough, aggressive people. Maybe the world already has all the harshness and brutality it needs.

Maybe what the world needs to really survive is a little more kindness, a little more concern for others, a little more gentleness.

And, as my 5th graders taught me, maybe those are the people who will have the easiest time surviving.


  1. Love it, Brooke! So very true....and you've helped me prepare a little more for my talk on Sunday. Thank you!

  2. now I know why nobody wanted to sit by me.....
    totally kidding. I was mega popular.
    kidding again.
    we'll stick with average.

    seriously though, that's so sweet. ah the lessons children can teach us.

  3. awww thats the cutest thing ever. seriously. what cuties.


  4. That is really sweet. I am impressed they are noticing the little things like that at that age. You must be teaching them well!

  5. That's really interesting.

  6. That ties in nicely with the Kindness Project blog hop that's been going around the blogoshpere. It says a lot about what really matters in life.

  7. I love this post. Such good thoughts.

  8. What a sweet post. Love learning those kind of lessons :)

  9. Long live the kindest, sweetest, and most responsible! That is an origin of species I can really get behind.

  10. Awe, wonderful post! Glad I found your blog! Thanks for following (I'm following you now, too)! And!!!! Teachers UNITE!!!


  11. Really appreciate my visit in your blog and especially this new post. I will follow you and look foward some news from you.


  12. I love that! It really sounds like you have a wonderful class! And I always loved new seating arrangements in school!


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