Does it pay to be kind?

This afternoon I decided to enjoy my time exploring the park on my new London doorstep. The weather was glorious and people from all walks of life were mingling in the sun, enjoying each others company, playing with their children and taking in the fresh air.

I met some of these lovely people. A well dressed, friendly couple strolling with their precious three year old in the pram. As I walked by, headphones in my ears, they stopped me and asked if I might have change for £20. Being the person that I am, I instinctively sought to help them out. They were a nice looking pair and there was the £20 in his hand I had nothing to worry about. But as money exchanged hands I felt a strong urge to change my mind, but realising the reality of the situation I thought it best not to put myself in a dangerous situation and avoiding confrontation, the money swapped hands, we both said nice things and were on our way.

Of course the £20 was counterfeit. Angry with myself for being so ingenuous, I walked away sat down with my new battered £20 and shed a tear. Through my want to be kind to others I had allowed someone to take advantage of me. I felt incredibly embarrassed.

My walk in the park had certainly come to a very unhappy end. I spent some time feeling incredibly foolish, but I pulled myself together and decided to take action. I went back and without aggression confronted the couple and explained that I knew it was a fake, that it is possible they made a mistake but i wanted my money back. Of course they claimed to have spent it and wouldn't return it. Not wanting to put myself in danger again I did my best to communicate, and I'm proud of my courage to stand up for myself but I was not going to get my money back.

I find humanity really tests us as times. Despite the confrontation, and my giving them the opportunity to do the right thing, they stood their ground and feigned ignorance with out a bead of sweat or a shred of guilt. I was angry with myself for being too trusting but more so with them for intentionally targeting someone with a kind appearance, and having no remorse for openly robbing someone.

Times like this make me question how much of myself I give in trust and kindness. In all honesty I'm not sure kindness really gets you all that far in life. It won't guarantee success, a good career, fame, money, love or children. In fact I have no doubt you can achieve all those things without kindness.

So does that make me want to be less kind towards others? Well no. Sometimes I'll get caught out and I have no doubt more people with take advantage of that kindness in the future, but I wouldn't give it up. Because although it may not bring me success in any conventional sense, for every time I smile at a stranger, walk someone across the road, or help another person in true need, the kindness brings me the knowledge that for a moment I brought another person happiness. Today I was unlucky but if I can bring even an ounce of warmth to another persons being, I consider my life a success.

Does kindness pay? Not in coins, but in happiness...yes. Yes it does.

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  1. I had this the other day, I always think I'm too kind. Where I come from none of the type of stuff that happened to you that day ever happens - I think moving to London really hardened me up, I don't know if that's good or not.

    Anyway, a couple of weeks ago me and my aunty were in Brighton. There were a lot of homeless people and as we weren't in a rush she thought she'd get a coffee and cookie for one of them. I waited for her a way back and watched as she walked back, and as the guy stood up, walked over to the bin and threw it inside. Just... What?! It got me so angry because he could have easily just said no thank you!

    Totally agree though, kindness will win, someday. Just got to remember not to tar everybody with the same brush because of one experience.

    Lovely post! Xxx

    1. Hi Melanie, sorry for the delay your comment went under my radar but I'm sorry you had this experience too! The actions of others can be so puzzling sometimes, but its comforting to know there are other kind people out there putting their good intentions above mistrust in a hopes to offer light into someone else's lives. Thanks for sharing :) x

  2. I'm decades older than you, and still struggle with this and probably will for the rest of my life. Though, as you wisely point out, while the shaft experiences leave you raw, thee are greater reasons to always be kind.

    1. Hi Sam, Well I'm glad to know that kindness is something that always stay with you :) and I like to think that hopefully it does pay back, if in different, subtler ways x

  3. You know, I love that even though this happened to you, which is absolutely shite - ugh it hurts my soul to think there are people who would do that!?- Ilove that you're staying positive about the importance of being kind. I've been blessed by the kindness of strangers over the last few years, and it's a shame that some people would do something so capable of lessening people's trust in the kindness of humanity. I'm sorry this happened to you, but I'm glad you're being the bigger person and not letting it defeat you. That, at least, is inspiring.
    So much love,

    Anne //

    1. Hey Anne, Thanks for being so supporting! I won't lie that it did knock me for a while but I think being positive is really the best way you can be. I wouldn't want the actions of a cruel few to affect my opinion of the rest of humanity who (like yourself!) are lovely and kind! :)

      So nice to hear you've had kindness in your life recently too. It inspires me too to hear of kindness going on in the world x


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