With all the sad and jarring news in the world today, we could all use a bit of good news.
Well, the results from a study shared this year are bound to give anyone a glimmer of hope and a bit of optimism.
A study by UCLA sociologist Giovanni Rossi and international collaborators from universities in Australia, Ecuador, Germany, the Netherlands, and the U.K. revealed that people around the world reach out for help every couple of minutes, and more often than not, people give it to them.
After studying cultures around the world, researchers discovered that humans would ask for small acts of assistance once every few minutes. Examples include asking someone to hand them a utensil or needing help with small tasks around their house or village.
Then, researchers noticed that the pleas for help often do not go ignored, and people will accept requests for help more often than decline them. Thus showing us that small acts of kindness happen every few minutes worldwide.
These observations were made after watching more than 40 hours of video footage of daily life for over 350 people around the world, coming from different cultures and living in various circumstances and environments. There was footage from cities in England to rural villages in Ghana.
Researchers watched over 1,000 small requests be made and people showing signs of struggle, in need of assistance from someone else. After observing, they found that people helped them and complied 79% of the time.
The study also found that when people declined to help with these low-risk tasks, they usually had a reason and took the time to explain why they couldn’t help. This only occurred in around 10% of the interactions.
This suggests that when people decline small acts of kindness or help, they typically have a good reason for doing so.