Recently I’ve asked a few people I know a series of questions. Normally in some variation of if a stranger handed you a plane ticket and a bag of cash, would you take a trip? Would your answer change if it was a celebrity who was doing it? What about a close friend or family member?
The answers were all over the board. Some people said they wouldn’t go even if it was a family member, because they had important things they couldn’t leave. Some said they would go regardless of who gave them the opportunity. In between you also had some worried about safety or afraid to make such a commitment to just get up and take a trip.
Some people were worried about who this stranger was and why they would be willing to give them a trip. Like why did they pick them? Is the person sick or dying? Is it a scam? The interesting thing was that at least in the sample size I had, the ones who thought about the stranger were less likely to want to go on the trip. Compared to the people who saw it as an opportunity to go somewhere in the world, who were more likely to want to go on the trip. I don’t really know what this means about how when we think about ourselves vs how we think about others, but it is interesting that our actions seems to be different.
It also brings up an interesting point. If you were the stranger and are offering someone else a gift, how would you expect them to act?