NINE in ten Brits would describe themselves as “kind” – yet a third would never give cash to a stranger in need, one in twenty do not bother to hold doors open for people – and as many as one in five admit they never pay people compliments.
A nationwide study has revealed Brits are not as kind as they like to think they are, with more than one in three saying they would never give a busker spare change, 45 percent always refusing to pass the time of day with charity collectors – and three quarters of parents actively avoiding volunteering at school events.
The survey of 2,000 adults found one in five Brits believe as a nation we are becoming less kind, with busy lives cited as the main reason.
56 percent said many people are too self-absorbed to care about anyone else, with a further three quarters saying kindness and tolerance is dying out.
However, two thirds of Brits said their parents brought them up to be a kind person, while a modest 24 percent said kindness was just a part of their DNA.
But 13 percent also feel guilty for not being the sort of person to stop and help others.
The survey also revealed a host of traits and habits Britons believe a kind person has – with putting out your neighbours’ wheelie bins, laughing at people’s jokes when they aren’t funny and bringing cake into the office emerging among the list.
Picking up litter in the street and always helping mums onto public transport with buggies were also cited.
The poll by online electrical retailer, AO.com found a blasé 34 percent said modern day life just got in the way of being a model citizen nowadays.
AO.com, Customer & Brand Director Michael Bates remarked, “As our lives get busier and technology advances, we are becoming more detached from our local communities than ever before. This is why customer service for us is so important, it’s our way of bringing random acts of kindness to people every day. We believe a little goes a long way, so next time you pass a stranger, why not give them a smile”.
The biggest indicator that you are a stand-up citizen is if you help someone who has dropped something they were carrying.
Two thirds said donating clothes to the charity shop meant you were a good egg and 58 percent said those that help a mum struggling with a buggy on public transport were decent sort of people.
The poll found the average adult believes they do four kind things a day but 67 percent said it annoys them when they go out of their way to help someone and they don’t even get a thank you.
But honesty was the most important trait of a person, according to those who took part in the study – followed by kindness and loyalty.
ARE YOU A MODEL CITIZEN? 30 SIGNS ACCORDING TO BRITONS
1. You would help someone who has dropped something
2. You hold the door open for people
3. You give unwanted clothes to the charity shop
4. You take your trolley back to the designated trolley area
5. You check in on elderly neighbours / relatives
6. You help mums onto public transport with buggies
7. You say hello to people you pass on a walk
8. You smile at people in the street
9. You bring in your neighbour’s wheelie bins
10. You let people in front of you in the queue if they don’t have much shopping
11. You never forget birthdays or anniversaries
12. You pick up litter in the street
13. You let people out into busy traffic, despite running late
14. You pick up litter on the beach
15. You always put spare change in charity collection tins
16. You take food around to neighbours if they’re sick
17. You leave a tip for bad meal because the waitress was nice
18. You always investigate if an alarm was going off
19. You offer to help friends and neighbours with the school run
20. You volunteer to help at school fairs
21. You volunteer for school events
22. You would lend money to a stranger who doesn’t have quite enough
23. You let a stranger borrow your charger on the train
24. You laugh at people’s jokes when they aren’t funny
25. You compliment strangers
26. You give cash to buskers
27. You take cakes in to work
28. You pass the time of day with door to door salesmen / charity collectors
29. You listen to what cold callers have to say
30. You leave the pound coin in the shopping trolley