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It pays to be kind

There is a video this week that has surfaced and has taken the internet by storm. In this video a young guy poses as a homeless man with a sign that says “no one ever became poor by giving.” When people walk by him on the streets, he offers them money instead of asking for money and in return, he received a lot of backlash from people who seemed offended that someone who seemed to be of lower class than them was trying to help them out. Is it people’s own insecurity or pride that causes them to respond to an act of kindness with such cruelty?
This morning, I woke up for my 8 a.m. lecture feeling a little more groggy than usual. So I rushed to get ready in order to have enough time to drive through Starbucks on my way to campus. When I finally reached the window where I intended to pay for my coffee, the barista informed me that the car in front of me paid it forward and bought my coffee and that this had been going on all morning through the drive-thru. Not wanting to stop the chain, I paid for the car’s coffee behind me and couldn’t help but smile the entire car ride to campus.
This incident caused me to question, is it easier to privately accept a kind act from someone you don’t know — like the people paying it forward in the Starbucks line — than to accept a kind act from a faux-homeless man on the street? What is it about receiving help that automatically triggers people into responding so maliciously toward the person offering a hand? The amount of monetary wealth a person accumulates over time should not matter when considering their worthiness of kindness. Everyone deserves to be treated with kindness.The size of their wallet should make no difference in your perception of them. Instead, judge a person on the size of their character and their heart.
What do we gain from putting down someone for offering their help? It most certainly does not solidify or create an image that conveys you are doing great on your own.  We can all learn something from someone, and let’s face it, we could all use a helping hand every once in a while. Humility is not thinking less of yourself. It’s thinking of yourself less.

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    Traci KellyMay 2, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Thankyou. Excellent writing Cait.I hope my daughter Brittany reads this. She is graduating today from Gulfcoast University.