The New York Times Magazine last Sunday ran a piece by Susan Dominus entitled "Is Giving the Secret to Getting Ahead." I confess that I had to reread the title about three times because I kept creating a phrase in my head "giving the secret" and thus couldn't get my head around the fact that "giving" was a gerund, being used as a noun. Much like Lynne Truss' book with the title Eats, Shoots & Leaves.
Finally, I got it but only today got around to reading the article. The premise is the thesis of Adam Grant, a young, tenured professor at Wharton Business School who is, himself, the altruist's altruist. He gives of himself at every turn. You have a request of him? He fills it. And if you come back with another request? He'll fill that one, too. He's got the data to prove that those who are "Givers" (as opposed to the other two groups in to which he divides people, "Matchers" and "Takers") do better than those who are more selective in which requests from others they choose to fill and which they turn down or avoid.
Consider a gift from me for which you didn't ask. That was generous of me, right?