While I researched gift economies, somebody suggested that I check out the Buddhist practice of Dama*. This practice also focuses on the act of giving to spread good. By definition, Dama is:
“The practice of giving, which is universally recognized as one of the most basic human virtues, a quality that testifies to the depth of one’s humanity and one’s capacity for self-transcendence.”
A collection of Bhuddist essays edited by Bodhi explains:
“Giving promotes social cohesion and solidarity. It is the best means of bridging the psychological gap, much more than the material economic gap, that exists between haves and have-nots.”
This Buddhist principle aligns with the underlying principles of gift economies as outlined by Eisenstein and Hyde in the last post, and helped me design my experiments for the research.
Finally, it is the belief of Bodhi that:
“Good deeds bring about pleasant results and bad deeds bring unpleasant results.”
Have you done any good deeds lately?
*The sources I found for this didn’t really explain the Buddhist concepts clearly, so if I have this wrong, please let me know and I’ll make changes.