How many times have you experience kindness today? The word is experience, not seen but felt, not coming for self but others. Have others give up their seats to you when you are not feeling well? Did anyone offer you a tissue when you are sneezing your way off and busy searching for a packet of tissue? Two words, Thank you, how rare are they? Have you been hearing a lot from others lately?
Now, think about the other side of the story..
Have you be kind to others today? Did you even thank the bus driver when he waits for you when you are rushing to the bus stop? Have you ever give up your seat to someone who needs it more than you? How about, did you even thought about thanking the person sitting beside you, on the bus, when you are getting off, instead of just ‘excuse me’?
I am sure most of us are kind in nature. I believe no one is born evil, it is how we are brought up and how we understand this thing called life.
My mother has always to remind/tell/scold/shout/force me to greet the elders, especially my grands when we visited them. My brother is polite and kind from young. He doesn’t need any reminder/shouting to start greeting and helping my grands with the chores and other things. As for me, I didn’t understand why such actions are required. My mother didn’t tell me why I have to greet them. My grands didn’t force me either, since I have been like that since young.
Ever since I went on to Seconday School, and have started taking public transport to school, I have learnt many important lessons about life, both saddening and touching sides. There was one particular day that I remembered till today.
I was 16 then. I have survived the first day of orientation in college, going with a recovering ankle and coming back with another sprained, same ankle. It was raining very heavily. The bus journey to home is long, at least an hour. It was peak hour for the bus. I boarded the bus and held on to the grips tightly. The bus was chilling cold yet I was sweating. My legs were shaking, because of my ankle. I have this really bad habit, the doctor told me. When I sprained one ankle, I will put almost all of my weight and energy on the other, causing it to suffer more than the injuried one. Just a mere ten minutes of standing, I almost fell to the ground because of two weak ankles.
Somewhere near me sat an old lady who was looking at me. She noticed that my left ankle was never flat on the ground, that I was lifting it up intentionally. She smiled at me and signalled me to go to her. I limped to her and she seemed to get the message about my ankle. She had really grey hair, looking to be at least sixty years old, so much older than me. Most of the people in the bus are ignoring sights from others, some looked down, most appeared to be in slumber.
Anyway, she insisted on letting me have the seat because we were on the expressway and it will take at least twenty over minutes before the next stop. I could graciously accept it but I didn’t. Over the next five minutes, she delivered tissues to me and kept asking me to sit. People heard her, but none of them stop what they were doing. I was lying to myself and her that I didn’t need the seat.
I stood the whole journey. Before alighting, I thanked her. People who knew me then, will know that I seldom thank others. This was one of the first. She smiled and said two words that really made my day: Take Care.
It was not something big, but clearly, I have seen the worst and best in life within an hour. In a society, it is impossible to have all-so-gracious people. Nothing is perfect in the world. I have learnt in through the years of travelling on the bus and have experienced numerous touching events. There are people who would give up their seats while some hog onto them. There are people to thanked others and even the bus driver.
I saw this person recently. Coincidentally, we have been on the same bus for quite some time, especially when travelling back home. He is not like the rest, one look we know he is unique. He may not have the standard of mental ability like the rest, but he smiles to everyone. He may be a little abrupt with his greetings, but he meant well. Everyday, without fail, he did the same act. When he broads the bus, he bows to the bus driver and greets the driver before moving on to get a seat. And when he alights, if the bus is crowded (which is most of the time), he waves his hand at the driver, thanking the driver and bidding goodbyes.
That is his way of living, and that’s perfectly fine.
We should not expect something like this to happen, but start bit by bit. When the cleaner comes to you to clear your plates and tray, how about thank him/her and smile. It is as simple as that. It doesn’t require any effort from you.
13 November is World Kindness Day. Reflect what you have done that day.