“Stop Being Kind”… My Husband Says..


hands of couple reaching for each other resize Passionately in Love

My husband and I had a disagreement the other night… I wouldn’t really call it a fight or argument because he was trying to get me to understand something.  However, I just have trouble with some thinking processes in Chinese culture.

Let me explain, some of you my have figured out through my past posts that I am the kind of person that likes to help people.  When I see someone having troubles or issues… I jump in with both feet and try to assist them as much as I can.   I will admit that this has sometimes left me with nothing in return not even a thank you.   But it makes me feel that I am doing the right thing in my heart.    Although, this is one thing my husband loves about me… the other night he told me.. to “STOP IT” ... to my shock.

He told me that in China.. being kind, helpful and charitable… will only have people taking advantage of you.   He stated that in China you only help your family and your real friends.. no one else. This isn’t America .. he shouted at me.

Well .. I was appalled… I just stood there with my mouth open… I couldn’t believe my caring and loving husband just told me to .. Stop being kind to people, it will only get your feelings hurt.

How can I just stop being me?   When I went to school that day I was chatting with one of my students about being kind to others… and I was kind of surprised when she basically repeated exactly what my husband had said to me the night before.   ” It doesn’t help to be kind to Chinese people here.. they will just take and expect.. but never give to you or show kindness to you in return.”

Since I had these conversations, I have started paying closer attention to everything…my work, my “friends”,  and my colleagues….mu boss…. it is true… they honestly do not appreciate your kindness and generosity.   Most people here are out for themselves… Really! … they all think when you do something for someone… there should be something you get back.

Relationships are made with people who can do something for you.. and you for them…. Very few people do things .. just from the kindness of their hearts.

It made me also think about America….I would like to think that Americans are different.  That we will give to others out of kindness and not because we are looking for something in return.   I would like to think that people will realize that you are thinking of them.. and think of you also in return.

One of my American friends told me that he wished the US government would let people control their own money… regarding social services and taxes  in the states.   When he said that I told him… then no one will give money to the poor or the charities.  He said.. some people would because of the kindness of their hearts, but don’t force people to.     I remember this conversation… and now I really think about it.. … if the government didn’t force taxes for social services.. would America be just like China … ???   No one will want to be kind?  No one will want to help anyone but their own families?   No one would trust anyone?

I personally cannot stop being me… no matter how much my husband bitches at me…. but my random acts of kindness… are becoming further apart the longer I stay here.

until next time…

 

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11 thoughts on ““Stop Being Kind”… My Husband Says..

  1. Teryl

    Wow, I can’t believe how much this post resonates with me. It’s hard to change who you are (your true nature) to be kind, feels like breathing……however, I am trying to slowly but surely to realize that I need to be kind to those deserving….and figuring out the difference between the people who deserve help vs. those who just try to take advantage of a good natured person. So far, I’ve come to the conclusion that I should stick to animals and children 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Came at a great time!

  2. V

    There will always be people who will try to take advantage of kindness. Use your kindness with discernment, but never stop being kind. It’s who you are, and that’s a good thing. I believe in the law of reciprocity, i.e., “what goes around comes around.”

    “Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” ~ Laozi

  3. Though I might not have voiced it so strongly I do believe your husband is right to some extent. I consider myself to be a nice and giving person, random acts of kindness are a part of my life but mostly in small doses. Being giving and generous all the time or in large quantities or even frequently can take their toll I believe, especially when you aren’t really shown appreciation. I say find a balance, if possible, so you don’t lose a part of yourself and/or you aren’t drained.

  4. Pearls

    Though I’m a work in progress, I’ve learnt to embrace wisdom when it comes to being ‘free hearted’ as it was once termed. I’m a professed giver/helper who likes to receive the same in return, as well. Yet, for sanity’s sake, I dare not weigh or compare the ratio of giving vs receiving when it comes to people. I’ve decided when I do give, it will be a conscious gesture from my heart. If the individual wants to reciprocate, fine. If not, that’s fine too. They’re not my source or barometer I use to determine how or what kind gestures/actions of kindness are returned to me! When I think about what I’ve received in return from unexpected sources who didn’t look for anything in return…just flat out wanted to bless me. I don’t even recall the ones who didn’t reciprocate.

    I look at it this way…people are people wherever you go. Truth be told…what other way is there to gain a good acquaintance or confidant than to help/aid/assist. I’ve actually saved a few folks lives in my life time. Should I have just ignored their situation for help and just stood looking helpless like the other people around me and let them die? 911 would have been too late! If you never help anyone in any way, how will you ever gain anything worth while?

  5. Trina

    I think there are some differences between the two countries’ cultures, but maybe not as many as you would think. After living in Germany for more than 30 yrs., I am alway at awe (and not in a good way) when I hear people in the US discuss national healthcare programs. Europeans pretty much take it for granted, that everyone can have a decent level of healthcare. It’s also generally ok with them that everyone contributes, so that everyone can stay healthy. It’s actually in the nation’s best interest, because a nation of healthy people are obviously much more productive than a nation of people who aren’t.

    I’m sure you’ve followed the discourse concerning nationalized healthcare in the past months. Beyond the obvious talking points from conservative (“yadda…yadda…socialism …yadda…yadda”), I’ve even had otherwise progressive American bloggers shout me down and basically tell me to my face that – no – they did not feel it was their duty to contribute to the healthcare of anyone else – much less the nation as a whole…

    So, yea, there are some Americans who are kind-hearted and will man the lines in a food kitchens or volunteer at a homeless shelter, but I’d hate to see what things would be like to the needy if all they had to fall back on was the proverbial “kindness of strangers”.

  6. Lily

    To a certain degree, what you wrote about being kind is true for other countries as well. Often, it’s just not that obvious and maybe shown in other ways. I’m a very giving person and like to help others, but also, I don’t trust people easily because I know that I am sometimes too kind and don’t want to be taken advantage of. Two years ago a so-thought very good friendship broke apart because I realised that this person was only taking and not giving at all. This happened in Europe, not in China.

    So when I was in China at first I thought I would never be able to find good Chinese friends due to this fact, but as it turned out, I was more aware of the fact that people here often only are friends with you if they can take advantage of you. Being aware of this fact led to my figuring out a lot faster which friends really wanted to be friends with me because of who I am and not because of where I come from or how much money I have.

    And now I feel like I can never find such good friends here in Europe. Because, once you really are good friends with a Chinese person, if they’re your true friends, they will not try taking advantage of you but be giving instead.

  7. I’ve been thinking about this thing too. I’ve become more rude here in China because kindness in many cases gots me nowhere. If I wait politely in the line, I can wait the whole day. If I’m too kind they would never fix the TV in my student dormitory room.

    But also I don’t want to lose my kindness and my Finnish ways. I don’t want to become Chinese who doesn’t care what ever happens to some stranger.

    Of course you shouldn’t stop being you, but maybe there’s a truth in what your husband said. Being too nice can also hurt your feelings.

    1. From Maria…I just read your blog(life behind the wall) on the topic “stop being kind…My Husband says..” To a point I agree with your husband at the end of the day he does know his community and he also knows you. Perhaps he has experienced seeing you hurt by making a random act of kindness and not being appreciated for it. At the same time if it is in your nature, like me, to be generous in your acts of kindness continue:-) however bear your husband’s advice in mind. To be cautious have a limit to which your kindness extends to people outside your circle of friends. In that way you balance both who you are and your husband’s experience=)

  8. Cici

    I find I’m like that too, but I get taken advantage of even here in Canada. You should take that lesson where ever you go.

  9. John

    I agree with your husband, I’m also kind to other but I notice some folks will take advanage of me because I’m too kind, they also will get you in trouble, I been there

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