One of 2017s most heartwarming viral stories took a disappointing turn recently when it was revealed that everyone involved conspired to participate in a scam. In November of last year, New Jersey residents Katelyn McClure, and her then boyfriend Mark D’Amico, drew nationwide attention after they allegedly experienced a random act of kindness from a homeless man named Johnny Bobbit Jr. The couple recounted on social media how Bobbit came to McClure’s aid while McClure was stranded in her car on a highway. They claimed that out of sheer compassion, Bobbit sacrificed the last few dollars in his pocket to buy McClure some gas and help revive her vehicle. In gratitude for Bobbit’s unselfishness, the couple then proceeded to launch a GoFundMe campaign to raise money in kind for Bobbit himself. After a short period of ti! me, they procured around USD 400! ,000 from thousands of donors.
Cracks began to form in the trio’s narrative when Bobbit came forward in August to allege that McClure and D’Amico were refusing to give him all the money that they raised. This triggered heightened scrutiny of the facts surrounding their story, and ultimately prompted skepticism from the general public. After months of investigation into their encounter, Bobbit was arrested and the couple turned themselves in to face charges of theft by deception and conspiracy to commit theft by deception. Law enforcement concluded that not only had McClure and D’Amico misappropriated the money raised through their GoFundMe campaign, all three individuals had known each other prior to the incident on the highway and they deliberately concocted their story as a scheme to make money from unsuspecting people.
As people get into the spirit of giving during the holiday season, stories like these are bound to make some hesitate about whether to be charitable. After all, what’s the sense in depriving of yourself to help others when humanity is so flawed? It’s hard to trust that your kindness will benefit people who are genuinely deserving when the world is so full of users and scam artists. Sinicism can understandably suffocate any reasonable person’s generosity in light of how often people lie, steal and swindle each other every day.
Kindness has a Higher Purpose:
Before losing all of your faith in humanity however, it’s important to remember that showing compassion is about much more than helping people in the moment. It’s about fulfilling humanity’s fundamental reason for being. Whether or not your kindness produces the outcomes you expect, you exist for one reason, and one reason only – to leave this world a better place than you found it. That basically means you can never stop trying to do the right thing no matter what happens. Every selfless act serves a purpose that is much higher, and much more important than skepticism. Kindness is the only light of hope we can shine on this cruel, dark world. Kindness is our only oasis in the harsh wilderness of reality. Kindness is the only virtue which can dismantle the pain caused by malice. For as long as unscrupulous people! won’t relent on the misery and destruction caused by their own greed, then it’s up to every single person with a conscience to fight back with kindness.
In the words of Mother Teresa: “The success of love is in the loving – it is not in the result of loving. Of course, it is natural in love to want the best for the other person, but whether it turns out that way or not does not determine the value of what we have done.” If you have it in your heart to be kind, don’t hesitate. Whether or not it’s obvious in the moment, every good deed you do has the potential to live on forever. It makes a difference if you care.