The University of San Diego and Harvard researchers discovered through research that paying it forward in a public way inspires others to do the same. During disasters we sometimes see people looting, Hurricane Harvey is not exempted from this concern. It's really unfortunate. With that said, while there are people that take advantage of disasters to take advantage of others, there's others that will come out and do some good.

The USD and Harvard Study proves exactly that. It's called cooperative behavorial influence using social contagion - layman terms: paying it forward publicly. This influences others to do the same and it's like a ripple effect, one person sees the act of kindness and others will follow suit!

Our work over the past few years, examining the function of human social networks and their genetic origins, has led us to conclude that there is a deep and fundamental connection between social networks and goodness,” said Christakis. “The flow of good and desirable properties like ideas, love and kindness is required for human social networks to endure, and, in turn, networks are required for such properties to spread.  Humans form social networks because the benefits of a connected life outweigh the costs.”

As we look to help those down south, there are ongoing efforts daily from first responders and others carrying out acts of kindness. I hope this restores your faith in humanity as it did me. Neighbors helping neighbors. Strangers helping strangers.