Jonathan Haidt, in The Happiness Hypothesis, says that reciprocity is the currency of society. Giving and getting help bind our group together. Some of this reciprocity comes in direct tit-for-tat, contract-like exchanges. More comes from longer term gift exchanges - I give a gift to you or the group now, you give a gift to me or the group later.
Economists and others who emphasize self-interested choices as the measure of rational action note that it is hard to explain why anyone would initiate a cycle of reciprocal trust and gift giving - even though all can see the benefits of being in such a social group.
As part of our "Happy Society" class, I assigned students to perform random acts of kindness for other people each day for a time, recording and reflecting on the results. All students found the assignment interesting and nearly all reported that it increased their happiness (as happiness research predicts).
I have been thinking about a hidden element of this assignment: it was easy for my students, and me, to initiate a beneficial cycle of gift giving because we are privileged relative to nearly everyone else we interact with.
This leads me to a general insight: the privileged risk less by giving the gift of trust and service. Therefore, it is more incumbent on the privileged to take that risk and start the virtuous cycle of reciprocity.