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Are you good to people you don’t know?

Topic #345: Are you good to people you don’t know? How, when and why (or why not)? One detail of…

Topic #345:

Are you good to people you don’t know? How, when and why (or why not)?

One detail of the story of the good Samaritan many don’t know is that Samaritans were unpopular among the followers of Jesus, and a story of an unpopular tribe doing something good for a stranger would have been shocking at the time.

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  1. Unpopular would be a euphemism. And it wasn’t just among Jesus’ followers. This attitude of dislike and distrust between Jews and Samaritans at the time was the common one. But then, I’ve known that for a long time. What really surprised me was discovering just how strange all of the Samaritan’s actions were to the people of the time. If you are interested in learning more about how shocking some of the recorded events in the gospels would have been to his contemporaries, pick up Kenneth Bailey’s “Jesus through Middle Eastern Eyes.” In some ways it is dated, but the main information is good and insightful.

  2. It really does depend on the situation and context of what is happening or has happened. I have seen my mother do a good deed for others and really get burned for it. I have extended compassion where it wasn’t deserved myself and regretted it. I believe in keeping an open mind and if I am wrong making amends but I am less likely than I was a few years ago to be as compassionate unless I directly know the situation first hand and not second or third.

  3. Where did you come up with this statement that the followers of Jesus din’t like the Good Samaritans?
    Please find the Bible Verse that it states this claim. There has to be more than one verse to explain this dislike. At that time there was a lot beggars and such people that were always harassing their group.

  4. What I find disturbing is that people are good to those they don’t know and not so good to the people closest to them.

    1. But not surprising. What comes to mind is the treatment Jesus himself received. Regardless of one’s view of the historical accuracy, it does point out a peculiarity of human existence that is still with us.

    2. You know…you’ve got a point. It does seem second nature to take out life’s heartaches on those you love and who love you. But the rewards are overwhelmingly great…when we continue to strive to correct such behavior. I know. Been there; done that. Am still not perfect. But 6 decades of practice…has made me better. Again, not perfect…but a whole lot better. :)

  5. At times, I’ve surprised myself with spontaneous acts of random kindness. Later, I might question whether it could have been a risky thing to do to help a total stranger. But I haven’t regretted the actions and always hope that someone else would do the same for me or for my family or loved ones.

    1. Random acts of kindness…there should be millions…no, trillions more occurring every second. We might then begin to dig ourselves out of the negative environment that threatens to consume us daily.

      hugs for letting your heart…rule your head…hugmamma. :)

  6. There are two ways people approach this situation: for favor, and for the well-being of of the individual. I try to place myself in the latter one. Usually when I’d encounter a scenario, I’d chat and get to know where they’re coming from, and/or pray for them.

  7. I was brought up to always be polite and kind to everyone. It doesn’t matter if I know them or not and it certainly doesn’t matter how they respond. How other people behave is none of my business.

  8. Short answer, yes. But the big picture is ridiculous. I was raised by parents who believed that you were only lovable if you performed successful tasks. My folks rarely said anything about love, or kindness, or consideration. I learned that in school. And now I find myself, at 51, far nicer to people whom I don’t know than to members of my birth family. I’m working to overcome this tendency as regards my family, but my Air Force dad and my mom insisted on good behavior, wanted us to impress the Turks; in fact, they dressed the seven of us towheaded kids in our good clothes and used to parade us, in order by size, around the city, so that people would Oooh and Ahhhhhh.

    So, yes, the long answer is that I’m better to people I don’t know than to many of the people I’m closest too.

    Good topic.

  9. Yes, if the person shows basic respect and courtesy. I just smile back if they ask u question/directions like a normal folk.

  10. It’s easy to be kind to people who are nice to you. It’s the people who are cranky, nasty or impatient that are hard to be friendly towards.
    But, if you let them determine how YOU act (and who you are, because how we act has a lot to do with it) then you are giving someone else a HUGE amount of power.
    I strive to refuse to let someone else determine who I am.

    and, amazingly, sometimes you can change their attitude with kindness. Other times no one could, but still–kindness is never wasted.

    1. A woman after my own heart…not allowing others to control your behavior…but determining it for yourself. Not always easy to do…but always worth the resolve to keep trying. :)

  11. I do my best, I am sure I have my moments just like anyone else but my rule to live by is the golden rule, do unto others as you would have them do unto you :)

    1. Aaahhh…someone who feels as I do. And I even agree that we all have our moments…as human beings…with faults and slip-ups. But striving to “do unto others” is never out of fashion…and never without its own inherent rewards. Better to ride the crest of kindness…than wallow in the bowels of ill treatment. ;) You might want to read how my own childhood convinced me to treat others…because I saw how generously others treated my mom and our family…hugmamma. :)

  12. a little comsence, iI had some misstakes and i learned from them, If you treat people like people it should work out you good luck

  13. As a rule, yes I am nice to those I do not know, always have been, guess I always will be, it is my nature, who I am.I like people in general, unless they have proposed something to make me shy from them. Jesus was nice to ALL,,,EVERYBODY,even to the ones that wanted to kill Him,,,, Could we be the same??? we need to, the world needs more knidness

  14. yes, i am i am a director at a local food pantry. i i do treat ppl better than i expect to be treated. my heart bleeds for the hungry children, seniors ,homeless… i thank God for letting me do what i do even though my children dont get it .they also have wonderful hearts and do for others.i guess at there ages 35-36 the wonder why i gave up my wkly check.i just have a calling .and i am very happy doing what i do. Glory Food Pantry 4244 n.101 Rockmart ,GA

  15. I try to be considerate to others, as I would like to be treated. I also try to be understanding when someone does something that annoys other people but that they may have their own reasons for doing. I try to be patient with people, even though that is hard for me at times.

    However, if people are rude to me, I have no respect for them! I have blogged about this. There’s no excuse for incivility. Yesterday, for example, I cut between two cars because I had to get in the left lane (I looked – I did have enough room). The jerk behind me honked and I waved “sorry” but he just kept honking at me and gave me the finger with both hands! Although he is a stranger, I would not feel compelled to be nice to him because he was rude. He turned left too and zoomed past me just to prove a point, although whatever his point was, it didn’t seem worthwhile to me.

  16. to add to the Biblical theme here, consider this verse: “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
    In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” (which is requoting proverbs 25:21-23). Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” -Romans 12:19-21.

    Goodness turns away wrath. (Proverbs 15:1
    A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.)

    Anyone ever been on one or both ends of customer service and seen this happen? As the giver of service, your tone, goodness, and sincere concern for the customer turns away their initial wrath. as the customer, your kindness, tone, and respect ensures you are treated fairly, and even above and beyond the average customer.

  17. Being nice to everybody shows respect, and as jakesprinter says he’s a salesman and sales person is always good to people, that what we are made of, hehehehe

  18. Well Jesus said it all in a nutshell, when he said treat your neighbour as yourself, (read neighbour as everyone else in the world) My motto is 1. Put God first 2. Put others before yourself. 3. Think of yourself last. This should keep us humble.God bless

  19. I think it is more likely for people to be nice to strangers for you want your first impression to be a positive and memorable experience of you,