Polish people in my experience are honest peaceful humble people. I have personal stories of honesty to prove it, the last being the most telling about morality in Poland.
Negativity from communism distorts reality – Polish society is good
I remember when I was taking a tour of Poland in 1999 my tour guide warned us sternly, hold on to your wallets at all times, Polish people will steal if they get a chance.
After repeated warnings after the first week of the tour, I clung to my money with dear life, thinking at any corner a rogue bandit or local Oliver Twist was to make off with my cash.
However, during the second week of the tour I noticed our Polish tour lady was basically being negative about everything, the change to capitalism from communism, people and Poland in general. I started to argue with her that I actually felt safer in Poland than NYC or almost anywhere in the USA. She rolled her eyes. However, in my personal observation there seemed to be low crime and people dealt fairly with me in the market, even though I could not really speak Polish.
Straightforwardness in Polish business
Here is a specific example, I one time handed a girl in an open market a hundred zlotys note thinking it was a ten, and she ran after me to give me my change. In fact this type of thing happened more than once, I know I am a little out there. That is someone was given the chance to take advantage of me and they did the opposite, that is, go out of their way to help me in terms of justice and fairness.
Since I have lived in Poland a number of years I have had generally positive experience with Poles.
The day I lost my wallet – in Poland and it was not Stolen
The other day I lost my wallet full of cash on the tram. I had baggy pants and I was trying to avoid someone on the tram I did not want to see. It was actually the lady that was involved in helping me get citizenship who worked for the government of Poland in Krakow. She is very nice but I have always feel self-conscious about my Polish as I have an American accent, so did not want to chat with her as she is a very proper formal lady. I hurried out of a crowed tram to avoid her and my wallet dropped out.
I retraced my steps over and over, and did not find it. I looked everywhere and asked everyone. I had several hundred Polish zlotys in cash and my US and Polish IDs and my bank cards etc.
Why I did not panic?
I was not in panic as I have lived in Poland long enough to know Polish people are honest. Maybe because it is a Catholic nation or because parents teach their children right from wrong. Even though I live in a big anonymous city with many poor people, for me it did not matter, I trusted the values and honestly of the people of Poland.
Sure enough the next day I picked up my wallet at the tram office with all the cash and belongings inside. Some honest Pole returned it all. I really did not doubt it for a moment.