In the tale, Stone Soup, stingy villagers have no interest in sharing their food with anyone but their own.
However, when a peddler offers to share some stone soup with them (essentially rocks in a pot of boiling water), one by one, the villagers begin to share – a head of cabbage here, some salt beef there – and before long a pot of delicious “stone” soup awaits them.
This tale suggests that generosity and altruism are contagious. And many social science experiments have demonstrated that this is true. But people don’t just give; they are somehow moved and inspired to do so.
The takeaway is that you have the power to inspire generosity in others through your own generosity. Any simple gesture can be contagious – a simple referral, an introduction, or just sharing valuable information. This will inspire your network to give. Give to you. Give to others. And create generosity that cascades forward across time.
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