Someone actually put this principle into practice. And look at the results! (From March 2008. Thanks to my brother David for the link.)
[A]s [Julio] Diaz stepped off the No. 6 train and onto a nearly empty platform, his evening took an unexpected turn.Sorry. You've got to go to the original to read the rest of the story.
He was walking toward the stairs when a teenage boy approached and pulled out a knife.
"He wants my money, so I just gave him my wallet and told him, 'Here you go,'" Diaz says.
As the teen began to walk away, Diaz told him, "Hey, wait a minute. You forgot something. If you're going to be robbing people for the rest of the night, you might as well take my coat to keep you warm."
The would-be robber looked at his would-be victim, "like what's going on here?" Diaz says. "He asked me, 'Why are you doing this?'"
Diaz replied: "If you're willing to risk your freedom for a few dollars, then I guess you must really need the money. I mean, all I wanted to do was get dinner and if you really want to join me ... hey, you're more than welcome.
"You know, I just felt maybe he really needs help," Diaz says.
Diaz says he and the teen went into the diner and sat in a
booth. . . .
I don't think I could bring myself to do these things.
I have a lot to learn, yet.
My sense: Diaz has trained himself through repeated acts of kindness to respond in the manner he did that evening in February 2008.