Home News LaMorris Sellers Discusses the Concept of Mutualism

LaMorris Sellers Discusses the Concept of Mutualism

LaMorris Sellers

LaMorris Sellers is an entrepreneur, artist, and philanthropist with a keen focus on mental health and helping people recover from various types of trauma and to thrive. In the following article, LaMorris Sellers discusses the concept of mutualism – once used exclusively to describe interspecies relationships, Sellers explains it is just as applicable to human relationships.

Animals and plants have evolved to compete for space and resources. However, some species depend on each other to survive. You may be wondering, what is mutualism?

LaMorris Sellers explains that mutualism is when two species, or people, provide equal benefits to each other, with neither party being harmed in the process. Scientists believe that mutualism between species has promoted biodiversity and evolution.

Competition and hunting are intrinsic in nature, but LaMorris Sellers explains that so are collaboration and mutual support. In the rest of this article, the commonality of mutualism is discussed, and how humans have benefited from this type of interaction, especially in the case of helping young people to thrive that are leaving systems such as the child welfare system without the supports necessary to be successful.

LaMorris Sellers on the Universal Nature of Mutualism

LaMorris Sellers reports that all things ultimately live in balance with one another. However, the metaphorical “weight” of life isn’t always distributed evenly on the scale. There are predators and there is prey. Some are doing the fleeing, others are doing the chasing.

But the world doesn’t always work like this. Over eons of evolution, LaMorris Sellers says species have developed ways to not only support themselves but to mutually benefit from others. This is called mutualism.

Scientists now believe that most land plants have benefited from mutualism and that it has likely led to higher ecological diversity. So, it’s clear that nature wants some competition, but life also can’t exist without a bit of collaboration! Recently, LaMorris Sellers supported an effort led by a nonprofit organization named Think of Us which is a systems change organization that centers lived experience to spark ideas, influence work, support critical initiatives and create new approaches, all with the goal of transforming child welfare so every human connected has what they need to heal, develop, and thrive. At the heart of this effort is how the organization integrates the insights, data, and leadership of people with lived experience to re-architect the child welfare system.

Connecting this type of effort back to mutualism requires an understanding that there is enough for everybody to win! Here are some ways different species can benefit from each other. These methods also work in interpersonal relationships.

Resource – Resource Relationships

In this type, LaMorris Sellers says two species provide each other with a resource essential to their survival. It’s thought of like a barter: you give me this thing and I’ll give you that thing! In the case of working with young people to transform a system, this means partnering with those closest to the system through experience to redesign it. Working towards a common goal in relationship with others is a form of mutualism.

Resource – Service Relationships

Here, one species provides a resource like before, but the other provides some kind of service. For example, this service could be protecting the other species from predators. Systems are setup to help people and at times, does the opposite. In order for the systems to help those it intends to assist, sometimes systems have to be recalibrated so that the focal point remains on those most impacted. No one relies on one individual to survive and in most cases, it takes a village to thrive and being in service to others is one of the best acts of mutualism one can engage in.

LaMorris Sellers Katt Williams

Photo: LaMorris Sellers with Paris Hilton at a Think of Us event supporting young people who are aging out of the foster care system. LaMorris Sellers lives by the mantra that “There’s enough of everything to go around for everyone to win!”

Humanity’s Mutualism

LaMorris Sellers says being human doesn’t mean that we don’t benefit from mutualism! The exact opposite is true. It’s likely that we wouldn’t have evolved to who we are today without helping other species, and those species helping us. In order for this world to be a better place, we must think about how to support one another and see the beauty in each other’s humanity no matter what walk of life a person has had.


LaMorris Sellers explains that in a dog-eat-dog world, it can seem like everything is your enemy: the world is either out to get you, or you’re out to get it. But life has prospered despite this competition, not because of it. Many plants and animals, and even we, have benefited from the resources and services of others. If the mindset of the world was “we, instead of me” it would be a much better place to live.