Kind acts may be key to happiness

22:46, Aug 26 2012

Random acts of kindness could be the answer to finding lifelong happiness.

Three people who have handed in substantial wads of cash found in Queenstown recently have not only done the right thing, they have also done the smart thing, according to clinical psychologist Annette Fea.

"It's much smarter to give the money back, in terms of happiness," Fea said.

In the past fortnight, Queenstown police have been handed $800 cash, found in an ATM, belonging to an Irish tourist, a Swedish tourist's mobile phone and purse containing hundreds of dollars and credit cards, and a bundle of folded notes.

Cromwell resident Taylor Wyllie, 20, handed police $800 he found in an ATM in the early hours of August 6.

The man who claimed the cash has since contacted Wyllie to thank him and sent him a $50 reward.

While physical rewards were nice, Fea said honest people could expect to reap long-lasting benefits.

"If you think about the short-term gain of keeping the money, you might be able to have a few nights out or buy something nice, which you will feel good about for a short time . . . but if you give the money back, that's something you can feel good about forever," she said.

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