In Living, Loving, and Learning, Leo Buscaglia tells of an interesting sociological experiment with the students of a midwestern university in the US concerning sharing and giving. Students were asked to produce a dime (ten-cent coin) and were given three choices.
In the first instance, they were told there was a plague in India, people were starving and were in great need of help. If they felt like helping, they should put the dime in an envelope and write on it “India.”
The second choice: There is a family in the neighbourhood ghetto that really needs groceries to live now. Those who feel like helping them should put the dime in the envelope and mark it “poor family.”
The third choice: the university was in need of a photocopier so that papers and manuscripts could be copied and made easily accessible to the students. If they wanted to give to this, they should mark their envelope “copier.”
Eighty per cent of that money went to a photocopy machine.