Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Do bad times bring out the good?

I saw an article in the paper yesterday about how bad times bring out the best in people. Even when the stock market is tumbling and companies are laying off workers and anxiety is making people cut back on everything, Ordinary Americans are reaching out and making generous gestures to their employees, acquaintances and even to strangers.

The article went on to tell the story about an owner of a pharmacy in Alabama that gave $16,000 to his 24 employees. All the owner asked in return was that his employees donate 15% to charity and spend the rest in local stores! His employees cried !

The article went on to tell about a local florist in Missouri who surprises one, two or three people a week with free bouquets. Residents of the town send in nominations and the staff picks names out of a box. The florist said that he was just trying to brighten up people's days and try and block out some of the doom and gloom.

This article singled out five other examples of kindness , all about individuals trying to make a difference and brighten other people lives.

I tend to believe that when babies are born they are genetically wired to do good, and that we all start out on the same altruistic path at birth...are we born with the same unselfish concern for the welfare of others ...or do we have to be taught to feel this way..?

Maybe it just makes me feel better to look at people this way...am I that naive?


  1. I like to feel the same way, so if you're nuts then so am I! But I think you find what you look for and if you look for bad/ugly in people then I think you will find it. On the other hand if you choose to see the good, I believe it's there.

  2. I think people are hardwired to an extent but that Life experiences can sometimes change their path or strengthen their resolve. I'm all for looking for good in people.

  3. I like to find good and do good, and both feel good. Your post reminds me of how often stories of disaster are often followed by stories of kindness and mercy; we hear it on the news all the time. Yes, I think deep inside we're all essentially good, but Kay's right that life can change people.

  4. I have to agree with Kay on this one.

    I do think we're all born decent and good, but life and circumstances and your surroundings I feel do mold you to an extent... once grown though, and you see the world with your own eyes, people have the ability to make a choice as to who they want to be, but the good is in there... deeper in some, but it's there.

  5. I love your post. It's so uplifting and makes me want to go out with a positive attitude. Yes, people are good. I do think that sometimes if a person is always kind to everyone, they might be taken advantage of, and that might be one reason why people stick to themselves more, instead of always reaching out. Not sure though.
    When you get a chance, I wanted your e-mail so I can ask you about linking. I seem to be having a problem with that, and noticed you've linked to my post. Thanks for that. Mine is:

  6. Lisa;

    We all seem to be in agreement that generally people deep down are good. I think that we have a lot to work with here. Hopeful anyway!

  7. I don't know whether you're naive; I know several folks who insist that human nature is not generally altruistic (and they would probably call you naive) -- but I do know that I prefer the world view that assumes people are basically decent to the world view that assumes people are basically evil. In other words, naive or not, I hope you're right!

  8. I think there are more of us in this "club" of hoping for the best than most people realize. :)

    Even on the worst financial days, doing something simple like holding a door open for a person makes me feel better. May not change the world, but it certainly doesn't hurt.

    Thanks for making me smile!

  9. I agree Peggy that bad times often bring out the good, and that generally people can be trusted.

    But I have a note of caution. I do think we tend to judge each other by ourselves. If we're honest well intentioned people and the others are too, it's fine. The problem comes when the others have an ulterior motive.

    Thanks for visiting 70 Plus and Still Kicking.
    June in Oz

  10. Those were heartwarming stories. I don't know how much we are born with (astrology etc etc) and how much we are taught at very young ages, but it's nice to be around those who desire to help others in positive and real ways.

  11. Thank you Rain,
    I love your logic and I so agree too!


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