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They say virtue is its own reward and all that, but I think if there was more incentive, people would be nicer more often.. I mean, obviously incentivising good behaviour makes it less good in general, but it means it happens more often..

I've done my good deed for the day though.. On the train this morning, a guy in the seat in front of me hadn't bought his ticket yet, intending to buy it on the train. So anyway, the conductor came to check tickets, and sell them to anybody who needed one.. This guy tried to buy one, but the conductor didn't accept the type of debit card he had, which happened to be his only payment method.

So he got told he had to leave at the next station, somehow talk his way through the ticket barriers there, go out and find a cashpoint, then come back with the money to buy a new ticket.. And since the trains only run half-hourly, that would add at least 30 minutes to his journey time.

This seemed to me to be a little unhelpful, since his intended destination not only had cashpoints within the station, but also the facility to buy a retroactive ticket on arrival. But apparently he wasn't allowed to go there unless he was able to buy a ticket right now.

So anyway, I went over to him and offered to get the ticket for him on my debit card (which was an accepted type).. After all, it's only £10, and it's a nice thing to do - if that's all it costs to buy back a piece of my soul, it'll do just fine! Anyway, it occurred to him that he could pay me back once we got to Bristol, so in the end I didn't actually have to give any money away, but still, without my intervention he'd have had to leave the train..

It's kind of odd, because I'm sure the 'me' of a few years ago would've been completely unable to talk to a stranger like that, and would have found it much easier to just sit there in a 'not my problem' haze.. But it just seemed like something that I really had to do..

But that, to me, isn't the main part of my good deed.. The main part is that a woman sitting nearby turned to the person she was sitting with, and said something about it 'restoring your faith in humanity', or the like. It's a good feeling to know that a random act of kindness can not only made the world a slightly better place, but make other people feel like it might be better as well.

As for me, it's made me feel good about myself, and made the day seem that much brighter.. So maybe virtue is its own reward..

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That tale even brings a smile to *my* face. And that's wrong for more reasons than just the fact I have bad teeth.

Why does it make you of all people smile? :o)

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