“Pay it Forward” by Tatiana Herman
People have the tendency to imitate the behavior of those around them. This holds true for altruism. If there is someone in need who is being ignored by those around them, we are more likely to also be unresponsive bystanders. As unfortunate as this is, the good news is that this principle stays the same for modeling altruism. If we see an individual helping someone else, chances go up significantly that we will help someone else we come into contact with.
Watch until 0:25
This clip (up until it turns into an ad for Liberty Mutual), is a perfect example of helping others as a result of watching someone else model that behavior. There are numerous examples of modeling altruism in this commercial. My favorite is the one where a man is eating in a restaurant and watches a woman pull someone out of the street so they don’t get hit by a car. He is then inspired to help a lady with her stroller as she gets off the bus. It would have been easy for him to ignore her or help grudgingly as he needs her to get off the bus before he can get on. Instead, he helps her with a smile and in turn is an example to another man sitting nearby waiting for his own bus.