A social experiment conducted at Birmingham, U.K.’s Grand Central shopping centre all but scientifically proves that giving is better than receiving.
Here’s how it worked: a sign that read ‘free presents’ lit up in the mall, which lured shoppers to a telephone where a who mystery voice then distributed a present to whoever picked up. That person was then asked to find someone nearby to deliver the present to.
Thuy Nguyen, who took part in the experiment, said, “When I realised the gift was meant for someone else, I was surprised,” which can also be interpreted as “disappointed to have to give it up.”
That, of course, was the point of the experiment – to see if people would forgo greed and actually pass the gift onto a stranger. And they overwhelmingly did.
“Seeing the gentleman’s reaction when he opened the scarf was wonderful. Being able to bring a little happiness to someone I had never met before was a lovely feeling and what Christmas should be all about,” said Nguyen.
That lovely feeling can be seen here: