Tuesday, 8 May 2012

When Kindness Goes Unnoticed (Part 2)

In the last article we discussed about the kindness of people in Wilde's Happy Prince and Nightingale and the Rose. We will now see people's reaction to it and the reason behind that reaction.

The author himself said in a notable quote:
The nicest feeling in the world is to do a good deed anonymously-and have somebody find out. ” - Oscar Wilde
I'm not saying that it is necessary to be credited for some good deeds you do, because as we see in the last article, the satisfaction we feel for doing a good thing is enough. But the above quote implies that our good deed is sometimes nt appreciated because nobody knows about it. Ignorance is the keyword.

Ignorance of the deed

In the Happy Prince, people in the city knew nothing about what the Happy Prince and the Little Swallow did for them. As a result, they didn't appreciate the did. Those who actually do something good don't always look like it. The Happy Prince couldn't move, so he was aided by the Swallow to do what he wanted to do. Similarly, for one reason or another, somebody perhaps doesn't want his name to appear when he does something for the sake of others.
The Swallow on the other hand, could fly, so many people knew about him. But they didn't know what he was doing, thinking of it as nothing more than a peculiar phenomenon. In the same sense, sometimes we see people being busy with thing we don't understand, without knowing that they are doing something good to us. As the result, we say no thanks to them.
The Nightingale too, died without the scholar knew what she had done for him. Thus, while calling the girl he liked “ungrateful”, he was ignorant of his own ungratefulness towards the gift of the Nightingale.

Ignorance of the motive

In Nightingale and the Rose, when the scholar saw the Nightingale sang for him, saying how she would make him a red rose, his respond was not good at all. Even though he did not understand a word she said, the song of a Nightingale is still a wondrous gift, since it's so beautiful. But because he didn't know the motive behind the singing (that is to give him a last message) he showed no appreciation to it.

And even when they knew..

Why, the girl in Nightingale and the Rose wasn't grateful at all for the rose although she knew that the scholar loved her. She chose a “better” gift. So, even when our good deeds are well-known and well-understood, there will still people who choose not to be grateful. But it doesn't stop us from doing good, does it?


  1. Well, like Jesus said: don't let your left hand knows what your right hand did.

    Btw Listra, I host a blog meme every Thursday: Character Thursday, please feel free to participate if you like. Here's the link: http://klasikfanda.blogspot.com/search/label/blog%20hop I just think it's interesting to talk about classics characters..

  2. Oh, yes, of course. I'd like to participate in Character Thursday. May I translate the requirements for joining into English, so that anyone who read it (and doesn't speak Bahasa) can understand?