Does it pay to be kind to strangers?
Last week when walking to school I saw an elderly lady who had fallen when crossing the road. Instinctively, I assisted her to get back up again, hoping that the elderly women would say ‘thank you’ to me for my help, but she didn’t. That incident made be realise that kindness it not always rewarded - it has no price.
This made me think about kindness. What is the point of being kind to someone you’ve never met before and are probably never going to see again? What reward will you gain from giving up your seat on the train to an elderly person? Why would you help someone carry shopping, if you can see they are struggling? Such acts of kindness simply go against our selfish human nature and do not benefit us in any way.
Plato once stated: ‘be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle,’ and this is essential when questioning why the kindness towards strangers is important. The difference you can make in someone’s life by complimenting them is far greater than one would expect. For instance: “I like what you are wearing today” or “well done you, with that piece of work”, could really make someone’s day. If everyone partook in such acts, the world would be a much better place.
Acts of kindness do not just make other people feel happy, they will make you feel happy. It’s been proven that helping others, improves your own happiness – you feel better morally and mentally. Whether you are helping outside the Wrekin community by volunteering or within the school by simply asking: “What’s wrong?” when someone is upset; it’s the smallest things which are often the biggest acts of kindness.
Since I couldn’t find a quote concerning kindness towards strangers, I decided to make one up myself:
“If we lived in a world where there was nothing but kindness, there would be no strangers."