On my route to work everyday, there is this intersection where vehicles have to take turns to get passed on by the traffic warden. Nothing stressful, a mere two minutes wait thereabouts. Now, there is this handicapped young man who decided to make that spot his beg-for-alms spot. I had often wondered why he wouldn’t take on a job after all he still has both legs and he’s only missing an arm. But hey, I’m not living his life so I can’t judge. But personally, I have this thing for not giving people like that cash. I mean, people on wheelchair have found a way to earn a honest living! Okay, I’m done sitting on the high horse.
So I would never give this guy cash but after a while, I started waving at him. The first time I did that, he responded with a huge smile accompanied by that look of surprise on his face…don’t know why people get shocked when a random, pretty female says hi for no reason other than just to holla… Okay, enough of straying off topic, I’m going to stay focused now. Of course, I drove off right after and that was it. But like a couple of times afterwards, I’d smile and wave at him whenever I find him there.
Some days ago, I was at the said intersection waiting to get passed on. This beggar was trying to get the driver in front of me to drop cash for him and that was sorta taking a while so he did not get to me till we were passed on. I proceeded to wave as I drove up to him but he was looking at the other car driving off so he didn’t see me in time. I kept waving till he saw me and as soon as he did, his face lit up in recognition and he shouted ‘haa, my dear!’
I was actually shocked to hear that and I promptly bursted into laughter! I mean, that was like super-duper pleasant of him right? And I had gotten upgraded. From the nameless, stingy driver to his personal dear. I don’t think my cash would have made as much impression as my smile and wave did on that beggar who didn’t expect strangers to smile at him for no apparent reason.
You would never know how far your random acts of kindness can go. And in this world of killings, hatred, tsunamis, betrayal, cheating, lies, raping, kidnappings…we need all the kindness we can muster. Being kind to one another is not overrated, the Lord made it clear that all that is desired of man is kindness (Pr 19:22). We make Him so happy when we show kindness to one another. So, let’s try again, say a kind word to that doorman every morning, remember the names of the people who work for/with you and greet them by their names, take a minute to commend the efforts of traffic officials before rushing off, ask about the health of the elderly folks whenever you have to say hello to them, help that random child cross the road…It doesn’t have to be much really. We just need to start pulling other people into the centre of our world as against pushing them into the periphery.
These things, money can’t buy.