´ The Price of Distrust -
September 12, 2016

I was sitting outside Starbucks minding my own business when someone asked me for a favour in Italian. She needed to buy a bus ticket for herself and her mother but the bus company didn’t take cash. If I could buy it on the computer and she’d give me the cash. I always want to help other travellers out but something made me suspicious. So I tentatively started helping her but I felt weird about it. It all went well, they gave me the money and nothing bad happened. Normally helping others makes us feel good. So much so that we even have an intervention called “random acts of kindness”. What makes this feeling impossible is when we distrust the people we are helping. Of course it makes sense not to be completely naive about the world however giving away every opportunity to help someone out (or begrudgingly helping out) might cost us more happiness than it protects us from being harmed.

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