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Seun Tuyo: Kindness & Compassion in Our Society



When I was 6 years old, my mom and I drove past a busy market and I saw what appeared to be a large object on the sidewalk with most pedestrians, peeping in and moving on. Well, that object was a human being, lying unconsciously. As I paid more attention, I made audible sounds in pity for that human being lying on that hard and dirty floor, helpless. My mom seized the moment and decided to educate me on the many chances that that situation may have been staged to create an enabling environment for crime to thrive. Con artistry, fraud, and pickpocketing are typical examples she described. She warned me never to go near gatherings of people of any sorts in such places so I do not become a victim of these crimes. But as much as her teachings sank, I also wondered what could be the case, if it were not staged?

We all must have had the resounding echoes of warnings from our parents and guardians about speaking to and accepting things from strangers, hovering around crowded places, boarding unpainted taxis, and even as far as picking up a pin from the floor for an old woman who may have intentionally dropped it as an act of mischief.

In the society we live in today, would you assist a lost child in a busy market place bearing in mind that you may be accused of been a paedophile or a thief? Would you offer your seat in a bus to a pregnant woman after a long day at work? Would you slow down on a lonely bridge at night having seen a young girl crying hysterically for help knowing it may just be one of those setup scenes for armed robbery or ritual attacks? Would you offer alms to a man who gave a cliché story of how he needs a little amount of money to complete his transport fare home knowing he may be lying, as he is off to buy hard drugs with your hard earned money? Would you give up your space in line for the bus for an older person who has just arrived having waited for hours knowing the next bus will not be arriving soon? Would you volunteer your service for free knowing you have a family running on a tight budget? These are questions that probe our minds from time to time and we are often disturbed by our honest answers.

As a society we appear to have lost the instinct for kindness and compassion. Many people are afraid to help others, because there is little or no trust among people due to what may have been seen, heard or experienced. People move more with fear and skepticism when it comes to helping others, short of becoming victims of kindness and compassion.

I like to think that people were a lot more open to helping others in the past than today. In comparison, the society was much more trusting than now that it has become narrow-minded, malicious and isolated. This can be seen by the huge number of crimes against innocent people who may have fought through their fears and offered help to strangers on compassionate grounds.

Somewhere in between all these negativity that surrounds us on a daily basis, there are exceptional positive cases. I have had many experiences – good and bad, from offering help to friends and strangers alike. Many other people have shared great stories from helping others, which makes me think that there is still a window for kindness and compassion in our society.

Everyday, we are faced with decisions to go out of our way and make efforts to do good, to be kind and offer assistance even when we know we really do not have to, but we really want to, because we know that our actions could really make someone feel better, not necessarily expecting a favor in return. There is that spirit of association that appeals to our conscience to have us spend our time, money and efforts putting a smile on the face of another to make life a little more bearable.

With the doubts, fears and mistrust in our society, showing kindness, selflessness and compassion can be quite challenging, I agree, but we can still benefit from the gift of doing good and sharing kindness with others by showing courage, exercising good judgments and been optimistic. It does not have to be in great things, but in the little that counts.

When we thoughtfully do nice things for people, we create an enabling environment for us to savor a world of boundless positivity. Positive energies are basically magnets for experiences that cause you to feel more joy and contentment. You do yourself great service by serving others.

Deciding to take action and knowing that you could be the one in need of assistance in another circumstance, and further realizing that if you were in that position of need, you would appreciate being treated with the same kindheartedness and compassion is what makes up humanity for me.

I chose to share my thoughts on kindness and compassion with you as a reassurance that we all have a Good Samaritan somewhere deep within us. With the society today, it is easy to get lost in our own problems and hide under a million excuses, however, we come across several opportunities every day to reach out to people struggling all around us. Try not to disregard the opportunities because you are laying a foundation for yourself. It is nice to be important but it is more important to be nice.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Roxana González

Seun Tuyo is interested in social development. She loves to interact with people and has a desire to make a profound and positive impact around the world. She suffers moments of weaknesses at the sight of a cold bottle of Coca-cola and Chocolates. Feel free to reach her on twitter and instagram @seuntuyo.


  1. The Beautiful Eagle

    October 15, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    True Words Seun…
    “It’s nice to be important but more important to be nice”


      October 15, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      Very well said!

    • Seun Tuyo

      October 15, 2014 at 9:49 pm

      Thank you yourstruly

    • Seun Tuyo

      October 15, 2014 at 9:48 pm

      Thank You The Beautiful Eagle

  2. Tina florag

    October 15, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    Good write up Seun we live in perilous times pray your goodness does not backfire. Poverty has driven many people to pretend to be in need. When you give gifts please pray and be guided by the spirit so your good deeds don’t turn bad. There is an ibo adage that says “:-ogomegbunem.” May God bless you Seun. !!

    • Seun Tuyo

      October 15, 2014 at 9:49 pm

      Thank you Ma

  3. Uncle Gee

    October 15, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    It’s difficult to choose when to help and when not to. Helping a stranger sometimes is better than helping a friend…and vis versa. God help us all

    • Seun Tuyo

      October 15, 2014 at 9:51 pm

      I agree with you, the society makes it difficult, however, kindness and compassion comes with a prize which you cannot afford to miss out on just because of the current situations in the society. Thank you

  4. Omotayo

    October 15, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    Nice article. In as much as one wants to be nice, our society has made it really difficult to be. Most times, one’s niceness is seen as sheer stupidity now. Just do what is right !!!!

    • Seun Tuyo

      October 15, 2014 at 9:51 pm

      True point Omotayo, Thank you.

  5. Tina florag

    October 15, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Laziness is one of the bane of Nigeria today. One is unable to know who really needs assistance. No one is too comfortable to become charitable. People have become too vicious that your generosity will be taken for granted. .I pray that God will touch people’s heart to usetheir ttalents and earn a living. .little drops of water will make an ocean. .I pray our society changes to ensure genuine less privileged persons get the benefit from kind hearted Nigerians. Well done my baby Seun. Keep it up! !

    • Seun Tuyo

      October 15, 2014 at 9:52 pm

      Thank you Mom!

  6. Obbor

    October 15, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Great piece seun.. once stood up in a public bus for an elderly woman to seat, You need to see the look i got from other passengers. But i felt peace inside of me

    • Seun Tuyo

      October 15, 2014 at 9:53 pm

      You are not alone on this one. The most important thing for me is that peace i feel for myself, it supersedes the eyes of people.

  7. Author Unknown

    October 15, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    If social services such as emergency medical response and welfare existed and were a phone call away, we wouldn’t have to live this life of justifiable paranoia, and the guilt that comes with the “what if that woman truly needed help?”. All you’d have to do is report.

    • Seun Tuyo

      October 15, 2014 at 9:54 pm

      Exactly, i always have that “what if'” question on my mind. Hopefully, we can live as a community and do what is right. Thank you

  8. efe

    October 15, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    @Obbor. l can really relate with what happened to you in a bus
    Seun, you have spoken well,l still try as much as possible to show kindness and love to someone,it is a way of building a positive foundation and you know what the rewards for KINDNESS comes in various packages,as rightly said it is MORE IMPORTANT to be NICE.

    • Seun Tuyo

      October 15, 2014 at 9:55 pm

      Thank you Efe.

  9. yh

    October 15, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    Thanks for reminding me of my responsibility. kinda forgot

    • Seun Tuyo

      October 15, 2014 at 9:55 pm

      Thank you for reading Yh.

  10. Nurah

    October 18, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Nice piece,I believe strongly that intention is all that matters,even if the beggar is collecting my money to do whatever evil ,it wnt work because I had good in mind for him or her.its just what I believe and I know whatever you believe in is what works for let’s all keep reaching out to people in need, I wish everyone could reason this way. The world would be a better place for all.

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