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How to make generosity contagious infectious (w/ Chris Anderson)

How to Be a Better Human

TED and PRX

Self-improvement, Education

4.2 • 1.1K Ratings

🗓️ 29 January 2024

⏱️ 38 minutes

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Summary

If you’ve ever opened up social media in the hopes that it would cheer you up only for it to leave you upset, angry, or tired, you are not alone. So what if we could turn that special power the internet has to change our emotions – and use it for good? The head of TED, Chris Anderson, joins Chris Duffy to talk about why he believes in what he calls infectious generosity. Join the two Chrises as they discuss how we can turn outrage back into optimism by tapping into one of the most fundamental human virtues. Chris Anderson’s book, Infectious Generosity, is out now. For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/BHTranscripts

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0:00.0

Ted Audio Collective.

0:02.0

Audio Collective.

0:04.0

You're listening to How to Be a Better Human.

0:10.0

I'm your host Chris Duffy.

0:12.0

What's the best gift that you've ever been I'm your host Chris Duffy.

0:15.0

What's the best gift that you've ever been given?

0:20.0

For a long time, my answer to that question would have been a Christmas sometime in late elementary school where my parents gave me a box of these chocolate

0:24.2

covered peppermint sticks that I was obsessed with and I couldn't find anywhere

0:28.1

and then they also gave me a box of collectible Star Wars trading cards. I experienced true transcendental

0:36.3

ecstasy in that moment. Like I do not think the human brain even is able to process

0:42.0

higher levels of excitement than I reached opening those two presents back to back.

0:46.8

But now as an adult, I've come to think about meaningful gifts more broadly than just pictures of Chubaca and obscure candies.

0:53.2

Today I would tell you that some of the most meaningful gifts I receive are people's time,

0:57.5

their vulnerability, their kindness, and their willingness to listen to me and to see me.

1:03.2

And that is a type of generosity that I actually hadn't thought very deeply about

1:06.8

until I read a book by today's guest, Chris Anderson.

1:09.7

Chris is the head of Ted, and so I guess he's kind of my boss. He is also a person who has spent his career

1:15.5

thinking about how to give things away and what it means to do that effectively and responsibly,

1:21.0

whether that means attention or support or money.

1:24.6

Chris's new book is called infectious generosity and this is how he defines what

1:29.2

infectious generosity is. At its broadest it's just any generous act that sparks someone else to be generous.

1:37.2

The hope, the belief, is that in our connected age we can spark chain reactions of generosity, ripple effects across the world to take on the

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