The Paying it Forward Paradox

Professor Wayne Baker once got stranded in Canada while sailing with his family. The response of complete strangers to drop everything and come to his rescue kicks off his talk “The Paying It Forward Paradox.”

In the talk, Baker talks about the science behind generalized reciprocity, or the idea that people are motivated to help others, not because helping will impact their reputation in the eyes of others, but because of a feeling of gratitude.

Isn’t that what motivates us as Rotarians?

Using this information, Baker and his wife invented an exercise known as the Reciprocity Ring, a structured and guided process of asking for and receiving help. In his TEDx talk, Baker, a core faculty member with the Center for Positive Organizations, takes viewers through the exercise and explains the science behind generalized reciprocity.

You can watch the full talk below: