Recently, I came across a thought provoking story from Ben Franklin known as the Ben Franklin Effect.
Having heard that he had in his library a certain very scarce and curious book, I wrote a note to him, expressing my desire of perusing that book, and requesting he would do me the favour of lending it to me for a few days. He sent it immediately, and I return’d it in about a week with another note, expressing strongly my sense of the favour. When we next met in the House, he spoke to me (which he had never done before), and with great civility; and he ever after manifested a readiness to serve me on all occasions, so that we became great friends, and our friendship continued to his death.
How many times have you avoided interacting with someone because you didn’t want to be a bother? In fact, many of us go to great lengths to do everything on our own, simply because we don’t want to be a bother to the people around us.
I grew up thinking this way. I avoided asking my friends for help on homework because I wanted to do it alone. I never studied with anyone because I didn’t want to be annoying, and I wanted to do everything myself. And while I was able to learn things much more clearly and in much more depth than I otherwise would have, I later realized that I traded much of my social interactions just so I could do things alone.
As much as our attitudes affect our actions toward people, the Ben Franklin effect is a good example of how our actions can affect our attitude toward people. Strangely enough, the things that you do for someone else gives you the chance to value them more.
As the world becomes ever more connected through tools such as the Internet and social media, the power of connection is becoming not only more available, but all the more essential to finding your place in the world.