Are you ever caught unawares by the generosity of people?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by devilot, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. devilot Moderator emeritus


    May 1, 2005
    (If there's a v similar thread, I'll gladly close this one or merge it into an existing one; just lemme know.)

    As the title asks, have you ever been (pleasantly) surprised by how generous and kind people can be?

    2007 was particularly rough for me and my family, and 2008 isn't starting off so great-- and through it all, I've been shown amazing kindness and big-heartedness by people that I wouldn't have expected it from. :eek: I don't mean to discount them. Sigh, lemme try to clarify. Since becoming a member of MR, I've grown closer to some members and that includes not just email or IM off of MR, but even talking on the phone and meeting in person and whatnot. Some, I've yet to have the honor of the latter two, but still, you get the picture.

    With one particular incident, someone drove very far out of their way to help me move out of a not-so-great situation. And there have been other ways that people have shown me such caring. I just can't list every damned example! :D

    I guess, I'm a bit cynical-- I've seen and experienced some nasty people in my life (as, unfortunately, I'm sure many of you have) and it's so easy for me to discount people as selfish, greedy bastards. But then there are these inexplicable people and moments that challenge me-- to take a step back and to re-evaluate these people in my life. To realize that there are people who can be and do good things. That we humans, are not always lousy.

    And to keep in mind that what may not be so significant or burdensome to one person, can make a huge impact to someone else. Someone who really needed that sign of humanity.

    Sorry, guess I'm in a bit of a reflective and sappy mood. :eek:
  2. ReanimationLP macrumors 68030


    Jan 8, 2005
    On the moon.
    Yeah, I've had a lot of my friends pull me out of a lot of hairy situations and my constant bouts with depression. As well as help me with financial and other areas, like my friend bought me a coat for the winter.

    This goes to show you though, how awesome this community is. :D

    It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

    Then again, I've also met some terrible people in the past year, and had a few friends betray my trust in them with their rude remarks towards me and some of my other friends.
  3. RacerX macrumors 65832

    Aug 2, 2004
    You know, I find it interesting that people see the world in such a cynical view normally. I guess I must live a pretty blessed life as kindness and generosity are pretty normal (or at least not surprising) for me. This is not to say that I expect it from everyone all the time, but I very rarely have met with hard times (where others have found out) and haven't had people reached out to help.

    What I do find quite amazing (and still haven't quite figured it out as yet) is why in almost every endeavor I've attempted I have had people go out of their way to help me be successful. And I'm talking about way above and beyond the call of duty type of stuff.

    I would say that the combination of those two types of experiences as constants in my life have made me want to help others when ever and where ever I can. And have instilled in me a firm belief that people on the whole are actually good at heart. More to the point, I honestly believe that people who are selfish are doing so against their true nature.

    Humans are social and interpersonal creatures... selfishness, greed and gluttony are unnatural states that are often the result of fear.

    Having had everything I could have ever wanted and lost everything I had has shown me that in the end things don't matter... people do. And the only way to experience all that the world has to give is to open yourself to what ever could happen. And in that way my life most closely resembles a phoenix... no matter how hard I may crash and burn today, tomorrow I could be soaring to ever higher heights.

    One more thought on being giving...

    Some people worry about being taken advantage of.. Don't!

    True giving can't be taken advantage of because it never asks for anything in return. Giving is giving, it is not bartering. People help those in need. Today it is you, but tomorrow it may be someone else.
  4. siurpeeman macrumors 603


    Dec 2, 2006
    the OC
    i've been really lucky, being surrounded by people who are good-natured and giving. i'm a little embarrassed, actually, because i'm one of the more selfish people i know. :eek:
  5. teflon macrumors 6502a


    May 28, 2007
    Yeah, sometimes people's niceness surprises me. I never expect other people to do things for me for nothing in return, and when they do, I always feel shocked. It's just like why are you doing this?
    I guess there just have to be some light to balance out all the darkness in this world.
  6. nlivo macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2007
    Ballarat, Australia
    I have not had any experiences for me personally where I am just amazed by how someone can be so generous. What does make me feel good though (and I try not to boast) is that I have actually made someone think this about me. I'm quite proud of myself. Besides that my dad sometimes amazes me how generous he is to complete strangers.
  7. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I got that feeling all the time in Japan. If I ever looked even the slightest bit puzzled, people would ask me if I want some help. Or they wouldn't even ask if I want help. They'd just ask me where I want to go. In English. In broken English. Despite the difficulty they have in telling me where to go, they go through the pain of helping me anyway, and in English sometimes. Again, they weren't even asked. If I saw a tourist who didn't speak English, I probably wouldn't walk up to them and voluntarily help them out. Even if I wanted to help them, I wouldn't try just walking up to non-English speaking travellers.

    Next week, I'll be driving (one of my) best friend + his (new) wife to and from Sydney, which is 90 minutes away from my home. That's 3 hours per day, plus the time I spend driving and walking around. I need to do this almost every day. They're also staying with me for as long as they need to. I've bought them a SIM card for their mobile phone already. It's not a big deal.

    Usually, I'm not what I'd call a "great friend." I haven't seen them in 3 years, and I don't bother sending them a card or gifts for their birthdays or Christmas. I rarely email. I never phone them (but I don't like phones). I only staying in touch with this friend last year, and it's all because of FaceBook. :rolleyes: If I hadn't discovered FaceBook last year, I guess we'd still never contact each other.

    I guess I'm due for a good deed.
  8. devilot thread starter Moderator emeritus


    May 1, 2005
    Indeed. Others who aren't really a part of MR or the concept of forums don't really understand... Like, my family: they think I'm a bit nuts. Someone does something nice, they assume it's a scam or some internet perv out to get me. ;) But so far, every time (thankfully), it hasn't been either of those. It's been someone being genuinely kind and thoughtful.

    Wow. I wish that I felt the way you do. Heh. Prior to meeting (in whichever manner) MRers, I feel like I've only known two truly giving and selfless people in my entire life-- my mother whom I've seen be unbelievably kind to everyone, and my ex who always gave whatever he had, no matter how little, to others without any prompting.

    So I guess my experience has been different from yours, and as such, has colored the way I see people. That and part of my own belief system is that humans are weak, selfish beings that just botch things up most of the time. :eek:

    :eek: You?! Selfish?! I think your head's not screwed on the right way. Heh.

    teflon, I think I'm a bit like you. I always feel bamboozled and a bit overwhelmed if/when someone is so kind to me. It just doesn't make sense to me. I feel like I'm never generous, I'm never thoughtful or kind, WTF are you being that way to me?! What have I ever done for you? What could I ever do for you? :eek:

    I know I'm selfish, and the others in my life have mainly been selfish as well, and so I tend to assume everyone else is. Those who aren't, break the pattern for me-- they confuzzle me. And in addition to being selfish, I just don't feel like I ever have anything of value to offer someone else. I don't just mean materialistically (though that is often true), but I feel like I'm never as good a friend as I should be. I've no skills to offer up (can't offer to help fix someone's shower, or design a logo, or whatever). All I can really do is listen, and I doubt I'm all that good at that, either. :eek:

  9. foidulus macrumors 6502a

    Jan 15, 2007
    A total stranger

    returned my less than 2 week old iPhone after I dropped it in the Atlanta airport. She could have kept it and sold it on ebay for a decent sum, but she went out of her way to find my email address and return the item to me.

    I offered her a reward, but she declined so instead I donated the cost of a new iPhone(sans tax) to a charity of her choosing(she chose cancer research so I donated to the Fred Hutchinson Research Center in Seattle)

    But on the flip side, I just found out last night that a co-worker and REALLY nice guy was murdered by a drunk off duty police officer, so I guess it goes the other way too....
  10. themadchemist macrumors 68030


    Jan 31, 2003
    Chi Town
    That's wonderful. And we should all be so blessed as to have friends around us who will take care of us when we need it--and vice versa. I am always thankful for the kindness of my friends and family, but I'm caught unawares, more often than not, by the generosity of complete strangers.

    For all the awful things that seem to be going on everywhere, people are, I think, still remarkable for their goodness.
  11. FoxyKaye macrumors 68000


    Jan 23, 2004
    Livermore, Terre d'Ange, Bas Lag, Gallifrey
    Amongst friends, family and loved ones - yes.

    Call it my life experience or call me a cynic, but no, not with strangers or people I don't know or never met.
  12. maxrobertson macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2006
    Once I was out with this girl and these two guys secretly paid for our meal. Later the waitress came and told us they had paid since it was their anniversary and I guess they wanted to spread some love, which was really cool. I wish I could've thanked them.
  13. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    I pretty much never get cold in reasonable circumstances, and when happily warm wearing a t-shirt on new years out in Trafalgar square I was twice offered a coat by absolute strangers...
  14. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I am not often, probably ever surprised at how generous and kind people can be. I believe that everyone is good, decent, kind, caring and honest. Then again, I see life through rose-colored glasses on and often find myself shafted in the end. At first sight I lack the ability to see the bad in people. What I am often surprised about is when people are shocked if I personally try to help them out. :)
  15. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    i am all the time. and its what makes those days better. simple and small things make all the difference imo.

    that said. i try to go out of my way to be considerate, thoughtful, and generous to the people in my life as much as possible, and to those that aren't.
  16. Stampyhead macrumors 68020


    Sep 3, 2004
    London, UK
    That's sad to hear. The best way to get rid of that cynicism is to be a good samaritan yourself. Go out of your way to help someone, even a total stranger. Do this as often as you can and eventually it will come back to you.
  17. ErikCLDR macrumors 68000

    Jan 14, 2007
    I am sometimes surprised at how generous people can be, even to strangers. I am equally surprised at how rude and cruel people can be.
  18. teflon macrumors 6502a


    May 28, 2007
    I wish I can see people as decent and good at heart like some of you can, but I never can. I always feel really bad because even when someone's doing something nice for me, I'd often question their motives. But I tend to think humans at core is selfish and evil, not like serial killing evil or anything, but just creatures that can't be trusted. In the end, I think humans are just animals, and every man is out for himself. Even the best of people that we hold as role models have a dark side and are selfish in some way.
    But yea, devilot, we're alike regarding receiving help. Every time someone helps me, I would always try to find ways to pay them back. I feel so weird receiving something for nothing, and I feel like I'm disappointing them if I don't give back something in return. I think about how annoying it must be for them to go out of their way to help me, but getting nothing back.
  19. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Wow, by a cop. Not surprised anymore. Was he tased, too?
  20. absolut_mac macrumors 6502a


    Oct 30, 2003
    Dallas, Texas
    Sorry to hear that last year wasn't so great. Hopefully that bright silver lining is going to shine on you today and brighten up the rest of the year for you.

    And to answer your question, yes, I've been very fortunate to be on the receiving end of the kindness of strangers.

    That's one of the advantages of growing up poor, nobody does anything for you because of (dark) ulterior motives. They are only kind to you because either they like you, and/or are just kind and giving people. I only wish thatI could repay a fraction of the kindness that has been shown to me.
  21. xodonniedarko macrumors 6502


    Aug 15, 2007
    North Carolina
    Last summer I was going on a missions trip to Honduras with my church. The total cost of my trip was $1600 and I had over $2000 given to me! One local church graciously gave me a $1000 check. Then friends and family gave me checks anywhere from $25 - $400. All the left-overs went towards my dad's Missions trip to Russia!

    This year I'll be raising the money myself, but it's okay because I've been saving.
  22. theman macrumors 6502a

    Jul 26, 2007
    nope, sorry. people are pretty much always *ssholes around here. :eek:

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