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Old 05-04-2012, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Lower east side of Toronto
10,589 posts, read 10,317,990 times
Reputation: 9271

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Stepping into the street this morning, I noticed this kid walking towards me. He had this glazed over look- baseball cap on sideways and the baggy T-shirt..you know the look..a poor and disadvantaged white kid from the wrong side of town.

Thought to myself- What a creepy young man. I stepped into the store to buy cigarettes..I saw him to my left as he was leaving after a purchase. Stepped up up to the cashier and noticed that on the floor was a crumpled twenty dollar bill.

I stooped down and put it in my pocket- I thought great- the day has not even started and I am turning a profit. Then I stepped out - I noticed the young man had this look of panic and suffering. He was frantically going through his pockets as if he had lost something. Something went snap in me and I stepped up and handed him his money.

The kid was astounded that someone would do he right thing- I could tell by looking at him that he wouldn't...Later I saw the guy dash to catch the street car..I guess the twenty bucks in his pocket was his lunch money. I did learn something...It is easy to steal if the victim is faceless. Once I saw his face..and his suffering_ I just could not bare profiting by the suffer of another.

The one reassurance that I got from the young fellow was one statement "Thank you- you are a good man"- was that worth twenty bucks? YES it was worth 20 million bucks.
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:26 AM
 
Location: southern california
55,237 posts, read 72,402,860 times
Reputation: 47449
human nature is the same as animal nature.
only when we reach for the spiritual does it get better.
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:21 PM
 
12,425 posts, read 14,553,508 times
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Oleg Bach...I believe "most" humans to be basically good...it's nice that you gave that kid his 20 back....some people would have given it to the cashier in case someone came back for it...but then we all know that more than likely she/he would have put it in their own pocket...circumstances could play a lot in just [how] good we are...or in some instances can be.
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:51 PM
 
6,768 posts, read 7,485,434 times
Reputation: 4192
people are only as good as thier situation allows them to be
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Whittier
3,007 posts, read 4,870,355 times
Reputation: 3025
We just are. We must work to be and do good. There is no intrinsic goodness to ascribe to all humans just as we all haven't fallen from sin.

Bears catch salmon out of the river with no regard for the salmon's life. The bear must survive.

Humans are capable to control these sorts of base instincts, and it is that struggle which defines us.

Sure I could go on about how it might be innate not to kill or do harm to "the other," and to do harm to others would put ourselves at risk. But all of this falls under the umbrella of a social contract.

There are as many truly altruistic people as there are serial killers; I'm sure. The rest of us are stuck in the middle, hopefully progressing towards the former.
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Old 05-04-2012, 04:25 PM
 
Location: FL
1,727 posts, read 2,090,677 times
Reputation: 1027
I see good people and I see bad people. I don't think human nature is necessarily bad or good.

I think it was well worth the 20 bucks. You never know how a simple act might affect another person. One can hope that he chooses to pay it forward.
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Old 05-04-2012, 04:37 PM
 
Location: West Coast USA
1,577 posts, read 1,780,829 times
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Had a similar situation occur some years ago. Was in a grocery store. Saw a $20 on the floor in front of the service counter. Picked it up. Wondered what to do.

I'd had problems with this store before and did not trust it or the management. It was simply the one closest to my office, so I went there occasionally. So...what to do?

As I walked through the store, a young man came up to me and asked if I had found something. I thought he had lost it! I answered, "Yes." He asked what it was. Alarms went off in my head. I asked him, "Did you lose something?" He thought for awhile, then he answered, "A key." I said, "That is not what I found and walked away. He followed. "Was it a __? A __?" (I don't remember what all he went through -- three or four things. I told him that he'd best leave me alone. He did that jiggy thing, walking away, eyeing me up and down, and remaining in my background.

He left. Assoon as he did, I went to the counter and said I had found something that could be important to someone and gave my name and phone number, saying that they should call me if someone makes a claim over the week. The customer service cashier said, "That is not our policy. You need to give the item to me, then we will get it to the right person."

I looked her in the eye, steadily, and said, "That is not my policy. Call me if someone makes a claim."

Then I noticed the young man and someone else hanging out at the exit door, both watching me, both jiggy. I asked the store for an escort to my car. the young men watched me warily as I left.

I am not familiar with crime. I have no clue what was at the bottom of their stuff.

I am just glad, these years later, that Oleg is a good person and did what he did.

By the way, no one ever called, so I went back to the store a week later and asked. No one had made a claim.
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Old 05-04-2012, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Lower east side of Toronto
10,589 posts, read 10,317,990 times
Reputation: 9271
Quote:
Originally Posted by irish_bob View Post
people are only as good as thier situation allows them to be
Not really..If it were not for my wife and adult children being kind and caring I would be some homeless bum...I have never been so poor in my life- It was my situation and a complex series of events that brought me here. I gave as much as I could and fought the good fight--but I got burned out..and time brought on age and the forfeit of youth.

The situation that I described and the quick response of giving the kid his cash back - was not done because I was rich and a few dollars meant nothing to me...It was an instant response that came from some where other than my own being...it was automatic..

A while back there was this nice old guy that is very very poor- He got a bad deal most of his life- He needed two bucks for coffee that morning...I had 7 dollars...giving him the 2 fulfilled his immediate needs...keeping the 2 bucks or the kid the 20 would not have made a difference in my life or situation.


The local guys on my block kid me when I pass and say I am living off of my reputation of "being a good man"- Frank the husband of the lady in the store..went and bought me a lottery ticket after I finished bragging about my good deed...Yes- pride was an after effect..but it was a good type of pride...when I tell this little story...I hear other reports of other people who do the same thing- People are more than the situation they live in- People are good no matter what.
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:34 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
15,664 posts, read 18,211,833 times
Reputation: 11164
I think humans basically are good. Most humans desire to live their lives in a positive way. They realize at a young age that if you do good to others, then others will usually return the favor. Conversely, if you're hurtful to others, you won't usually get good results from it. The betterment of our lives depends on humans doing good for one another and for society in general.

Having said that, some people simply are evil. That's why there are serial killings and genocides and things of that sort. Unfortunately, we haven't yet found a way to stop these things from happening every now and then. But I think the truth is that it's a very small number of people who will ever actually commit these things.
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:55 PM
 
2,936 posts, read 2,249,503 times
Reputation: 464
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oleg Bach View Post
Stepping into the street this morning, I noticed this kid walking towards me. He had this glazed over look- baseball cap on sideways and the baggy T-shirt..you know the look..a poor and disadvantaged white kid from the wrong side of town.

Thought to myself- What a creepy young man. I stepped into the store to buy cigarettes..I saw him to my left as he was leaving after a purchase. Stepped up up to the cashier and noticed that on the floor was a crumpled twenty dollar bill.

I stooped down and put it in my pocket- I thought great- the day has not even started and I am turning a profit. Then I stepped out - I noticed the young man had this look of panic and suffering. He was frantically going through his pockets as if he had lost something. Something went snap in me and I stepped up and handed him his money.

The kid was astounded that someone would do he right thing- I could tell by looking at him that he wouldn't...Later I saw the guy dash to catch the street car..I guess the twenty bucks in his pocket was his lunch money. I did learn something...It is easy to steal if the victim is faceless. Once I saw his face..and his suffering_ I just could not bare profiting by the suffer of another.

The one reassurance that I got from the young fellow was one statement "Thank you- you are a good man"- was that worth twenty bucks? YES it was worth 20 million bucks.
A million thanks for returning the money. Rest assured he won't forget you.
Thanks again for that moment of kindness you've shown and shared in this a dog eat dog world.
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