Social Question

Aethelwine's avatar

Does it pay to be kind?

Asked by Aethelwine (42961points) May 26th, 2011

A person does what they feel is right and they still get fucked in the end. Does it truly pay to be kind, or do you need to be ruthless?

Example: My husband did what he thought was right with a problem at work. He’s being fucked left and right now. His good deeds have been forgotten once they weren’t needed any longer.

Is it worth doing what you feel is right or do you need to be a bitch like everyone else?

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28 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

My gut reaction is to write: Kind of.

But I won’t go with my gut on this one. I’m sorry you’re husband is having such a rough time of it. In my short 47 years on this planet, I’ve learned that karma can be a bitch, and what goes around really does come back around. The evil-doers will get it in the end.

GladysMensch's avatar

It depends upon your level of conscience. Can you do things that benefit yourself while knowingly hurting others? If your conscience bothers you more than the benefit, then no, it ultimately doesn’t pay to be kind.

FutureMemory's avatar

I think the best course of action is to take neither the route of the bitch nor the good guy. Neutrality is the best survival tactic when working for someone else.

_zen_'s avatar

Balance. Moderation.

Nullo's avatar

That depend on the currency and bursar. Your husband may not be reaping any benefits from the people at work, but then, was he hoping to gain anything from them for it in the first place? Kindness is its own reward. And if it helps, those people will look back and think, “Dang, I was such a horrible person for doing that.”

_zen_'s avatar

I agree with @Nullo – Kindness is its own reward. However, as Lennon wrote, Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans. So adapt. Be kind, rewind. But sometimes you have to be ruthless and a dick. Moderation. Balance.

ucme's avatar

Select your targets carefully & trust your instincts would be my advice.

tom_g's avatar

In my opinion, it is worth doing what you feel is right. Sure, people may screw you over, but they will do that no matter what.
Sincere kindness allows me to sleep at night. I also believe that such acts plant seeds that are not always evident immediately.

flutherother's avatar

You do the right thing because it’s the right thing. You should never feel bad about that.

Plucky's avatar

In the end, I believe it’s worth doing what is right. What goes around comes around ..eventually.

Beulah's avatar

I believe that acts of kindness should be random, best bestowed on strangers or people you seldom see. Familiar people tend to take your kindness for granted and even abuse it. But no need to be a bitch. Just do what is right.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Sure. I always rewind. There’s a $2.00 charge if you don’t.

augustlan's avatar

I think so, overall. You may not reap an immediate or expected reward, but in the big picture kind people are certainly valued over unkind people. They have more friends, and more people want to be kind to them in return. Doing the right thing isn’t always easy, but it is always right.

Cruiser's avatar

I found everytime you expect anything in return for kindness you will be sorely disappointed. I give freely and never look back.

WasCy's avatar

Well, no. It doesn’t “pay” to be kind – or else it’s not kindness, but something more akin to “good service” at a restaurant, which isn’t generally done out of “kindness”, but out of a person’s own intent “to do a good job” (in the best cases) or simply “to get a good tip” (at the most mercenary level).

My random acts of kindness spread over a lifetime seem to be reflected in my face today. Wasn’t it Oscar Wilde who said that “By the time we’re fifty, we have the face we deserve.” I have that face, and I’m proud of it. People look at me – this happens all the time – and they “know” that they’re in a safe place. And it’s not because I’m some shrimpy, afraid-looking little weak guy, either.

Usually when I have a choice to be kind or be cruel I can do that, too, of course I choose the former. It helps me sleep well; it keeps me from looking over my shoulder a lot; it helps me get on with the neighbors, whoever they are, and for some reason, at the times in my life when I have absolutely needed help to get to the next place I need to be… it comes along.

I don’t have a rational explanation for that. Maybe it really is Divine Intervention. Maybe karma exists. Whatever. It’s been working for me so far.

beckk's avatar

I would say yes, it does pay to be kind. People will generally be kind to you if you are to them.
However, sometimes being kind gives people a reason to walk all over you. They know that you won’t get mad because you are always so nice.
Take it from a person who is generally nice to everyone (I have a hard time being mean to anyone) being kind to the right people will pay off, but know that there will always be that one person or that one group who will take advantage of you.

tom_g's avatar

@beckk: “However, sometimes being kind gives people a reason to walk all over you. They know that you won’t get mad because you are always so nice.”

You’re right. However, I don’t equate kindness with passivity. Asserting in a genuine, confident way that you will not allow yourself to be taken advantage of is not unkind. It’s honest, which is kind to both you and the other person.

stardust's avatar

I like the idea of kindness towards strangers. When an act is driven by genuine kindness, it’s a win win situation. If speaking about kindness in terms of people pleasing, I think it usually has a negative impact on the people pleaser.

Coloma's avatar

You are only responsible for your own conduct, be true to yourself, and let the fools fall on their own, which they will, sooner or later.

Kindness is about ones own moral code, not about being ‘seen’ as kind.

Lots of peoples ‘use’ kindness as a means to stroke their own ego, rather than in a genuine way.

Be assertive, honest, and do the right thing. The rest will take care of itself.

Truthfully, it is not very often that we are truly ‘victims’ of others, usually we play into it, one way or another, consciously, or unconsciously.

If you insist on trying to trust, those that have shown themselves to be untrustworthy…well…you know the old addage, ‘fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.’

Nullo's avatar

@worriedguy But how do you rewind DVDs and streaming movies? The video rental industry is faced with a massive dilemma.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I think it kind of depends on the situation, at least it does for me. I take every situation as “one at a time”. Sometimes I can make an extremely scathing remark to someone but I hold back. Sometimes I just don’t give a shit and I let er rip. It all depends on who, what, when, where, why and how.

Most of the time, I don’t really care about “the long run” if I really feel that someone needs to be taken down a peg, or if I feel that a situation needs to be handled a certain way. I do what I think is the right thing to do, whether it’s kind or not, and I know that should something else arise from the current situation, then I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Not really but it’s not supposed to.
Kindness doesn’t mean kindness back, especially if someone’s profit is in the mix.
At work, be kind but be fair first.

SavoirFaire's avatar

It pays to be nice, and it costs not to be nice. Humans have long memories. Your husband now knows that his colleagues are cheaters, which makes him less likely to help them in the future. That is to their detriment.

manolla's avatar

When I do somthing kind, I usually don’t expect anything in return, I just do it for myself because it makes me feel better inside.
I will never allow other people’s reaction to my kindness change me as a person, because my kindness is stronger than thier bichiness,I will just learn how to deal with them better next time.

augustlan's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate Yeah, but you’re cranky. :p

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@augustlan Yes darling, yes I am. ;)

tinyfaery's avatar

It all depends on what action makes you feel the best. Kindness is nice, but it can quickly lead to being taken advantage of. It’s really a shame people take advantage of those they feel are easily manipulated.

Coloma's avatar


I agree, just let go of someone like that, when their manipulative side was becoming too obvious to ignore.

Thing is, once again, it is up to us to recognize the red flags of others personality/ character flaws, so we can avoid their traps, not to stop being kind and generous people. ;-)

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