Benevolence: A hard concept

Why is it hard for people to understand?

When you’re kind without asking anything in return, you’re either naive or you have a hidden string attached. It’s crazy to the extent that people will even label you as plainly evil when your intentions do not require a payback from them — yet you keep succeeding.

Maybe, it’s a reflection of human nature — a corrupted one. It’s the voice of selfishness, revenge and jealousy.

People that think about themselves can’t see why anyone will think about others.

People that were disappointed think nobody else deserves to be beneficiary of kindness.

Others will rather spend on something else, why waste something they never had just like that?

But maybe, for whoever reads this, you may come to understand:

A senior colleague did me a favor and I told that person that I couldn’t repay them, and they told me “intergenerational favors aren’t supposed to be repaid, they’re supposed to be passed forward to the next generation.”1


So yes, sometimes kindess are not paid back, they are paid forward.


  1. I screenshot this tweet in 2018. Here’s the link https://twitter.com/causalinf/status/957775747631939584?s=20