I was astounded by the kindness of a stranger recently, see How to Get Lucky. But it turns out generosity by a stranger is not so unusual. Scientists say we're hardwired for it and trusting a stranger served evolutionary purposes. It actually benefits us.
New research shows that acts of "extreme" good as opposed to only good, move others to act more generously. What is "extreme" goodness? An example:
"In October 2006 a 32-year-old milk truck driver barricaded himself in an Amish schoolhouse in Pennsylvania and shot 10 young girls execution style before putting his nine-millimeter pistol to his head and pulling the trigger.
The crime shocked America, but what came next was perhaps more stunning. Within days grieving parents reached out to the widow of the killer, offering forgiveness and financial assistance."