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Jonathan Suttin

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The end of "The Rat Race"

Life is hard. We’ve all had ups and downs when it comes to personal and business relationships. Many times people will talk about the difficulty of the rat race we’re all running. You dirty rat is a great saying, even if James Cagney didn’t exactly say it that way in the movies.
 
However, the time has come to stop using the rat to represent the cutthroat world of humans.  It appears rats are pretty compassionate

Researchers at the University of Chicago ran some tests where one rat was trapped in a cage and another rat was free.  There was also some chocolate chips in an easy access container nearby.  The free rat had several choices.  He or she could just eat the chips and laugh at the other rat trapped in the cage, which sounds like something some of my friends might do to me.  The rat could also eat the chips and then free the other rat.   Or the free rat could liberate the other rat and share the chocolate chips.

What do you think happened?

In most cases the rat would free the other rat first and then SHARE the chocolate chips.
 
After reading that story, I thought about all our arguments over health care and raising taxes and how it divides us. If the rats acted more like us, the free rat could eat all the chocolate himself and blame the other rat for being put into the cage. After all, if the caged rat would have just studied a little harder in school or perhaps worked a little harder he wouldn’t be in the cage.  Right?
 
Isn’t that the logic some people here in the United States use for poorer people in our society? I can hear it now, “If he just worked a little harder, he could afford health care for his family.”
 
I’m not just going to point the finger and those who have a lot of cash. I think we all could take a lesson from the rats and show a little more compassion. I have to admit, I often don’t make eye contact with a homeless person begging for change. How about you?
 



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12/13/2011 10:47AM
The end of "The Rat Race"
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