There are those who believe greed is human nature and I do not agree with that assessment. When a child is born, it has many dependent needs that others must supply. As a child develops he/she learns basic skills as sensory organs develop. At the same time he/she needs bonding with parents and providers of care. Mental development progresses as self differentiates from other, and if the environment includes healthy interpersonal relationships, the notion of self-interests blend with interest in others in mutual reciprocity. Being and altruism require vulnerability, courage, empathy, strength, giving, receiving, protecting, providing and preserving.
A mentally healthy, mature, adult perceives a larger picture of enlightened self-interest with being able to recognize one’s own needs, the needs of others, and even the needs of the planet. Such a person flourishes and empowers others to flourish. He and she seeks the general welfare for all aspects of life with cooperation, compassion, and care being key elements of his/her value system.
The species Homo sapiens sapiens does not exist as the top of a pyramid, rather the species exists as part of network of all organic and inorganic elements. The purpose of life is to participate in that network and moral codes come from within each individual. Living in a healthy community requires awareness of self, others and the planet.