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Southland Times




Kind acts may be key to happiness

Last updated 09:50 27/08/2012


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.


- The Southland Times

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Rick   #16   06:40 pm Aug 27 2012

If only corporations wanted to be happy.

Grant   #15   03:07 pm Aug 27 2012

So true!

Christhchurch Resident   #14   01:32 pm Aug 27 2012

Not only will the feel good factor last a lot longer for people who do the right thing but think how much the community of Queenstown benefits from having residents like this. More than likely two tourists will go back to their respective countries with only good things to say about their time here. With a worldwide recession and a strong kiwi dollar not to mention the earthquakes in Christchurch tourism in New Zealand needs all the help it can get. A big thank you to these two individuals, well done!

AmandaJ   #13   01:20 pm Aug 27 2012

Happiness doesn't come from "things". Having somewhere to live, enough to eat, something to do everyday (a reason to get up in the morning), someone to love and someone (or something) to help will make a person much happier than the acquisition of material things or constant worrying about personal appearance. People who do things for others are happier

mk   #12   11:48 am Aug 27 2012

Very useful article, I will definitely consider this helpful advice next time i find large sum of cash....i was doing it wrong all these years.

Sp.   #11   11:01 am Aug 27 2012

I thought doing nice things was a rule of thumb? Good on the guys for giving the tourist-loot back though.

Mike   #10   10:58 am Aug 27 2012

You always feel good when you see lost money returned when it was lost due to an act of carelessness. However NZ is getting less honest and often you get mixed messages on TV when the same thing happens in programmes or shows.

Bob   #9   10:46 am Aug 27 2012

It all comes back to Karma, What goes around comes aroung, Do unto others as you would expect to have done unto you.

rocky   #8   10:44 am Aug 27 2012

Kindness MAY be the key to happiness? Don't be so half-hearted about it - of course it IS the key to happiness!! Isn't that what religions have been going on about for centuries? Do I need a clinical psychologist to tell me what I know is true. Isn't the eighth commandment "Thou shalt not steal"?

What is wrong with today that every simple timeless truth has to be repackaged, redecorated and regurgitated by so-called experts and professionals basically saying the obvious to a whole new age of ignorant. Nothing new under the sun as they say.

josh   #7   10:31 am Aug 27 2012

I've done this type of thing twice. Once I found a card in an ATM with the PIN entered and the "would you like to do another transaction" on the screen. I hit cancel and took the card into the bank where I was treated as though I had stolen the card and was up to some con pretending to hand it in. The other time I saw someone drop their wallet I picked it up and handed it back to them where I received a "oh" before they turned and walked off, no thanks nothing. I'd seriously think about doing the honest thing in future and maybe just walk away leaving it to someone else to do as they wish.

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