Kindness is to Be Passed On

Mother Teresa

Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men. 

Confucius

The power of a smile is not to be underestimated. It can light up the darkest corners of the mind and disperse the gloomiest of thought. We forget to appreciate and praise those that are closest to us and go through life as if it were a big chore. Our schedules are etched at the back of our minds, with minute to minute precision as to what action will follow next. We have forgotten to stop and take in a fresh breathe of life. Are worlds are shrinking at a speed so rapid, that it leaves place for no other entity, except ourselves.

In the rush for earning our own bread and butter, we often fail to see those people who make up our everyday life. In this day and age, our own problems seem so monumental that the sufferings of others are dwarfed by the shadows cast by our own exaggerated sense of doom. Not once do we pause to take in the plight of those around us, or stop to re assure them, or lend a helping hand, or say a kind word. Indeed these won’t make the challenges of the other person go away, but it sure will give them that boost of energy to renew their travails.

Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Florence Nightingale all dedicated their lives to the service of others. They lived their entire lives giving, selflessly. The message of kindness and compassion that they carried has been reduced to a dull echo in our lives. After all, if humans do not show compassion to each other, how will our any of us to go through this rigorous cycle of life without a kind word or gesture?

Every day, in and out, we see people in need of not just money, but of a kind word, in need of love or in need of a pat on the back. We know not what demons haunt them or what worries have ridden them the peace of a good night’s sleep, but all they look for is reassurance and kindness of some kind.

I was once waiting at the train station for my train to arrive. There was a great rush as the train had been delayed by over 20 minutes due to some glitch in the overhead electrical supply lines. There was pair of urchins that were roaming around on the platform asking for alms. They were just kids, not more than 5 years old I think, and they went from person to person in the hope that at least one person would give them some money to feed their hungry stomachs. They finally approached this one young man at the station waiting for the same train. He heard their plea and seeing their sunken faces and hungry eyes went and bought them a vada pav - the Indian rendition of a burger – and a fruit juice bottle. I watched in utter amazement at what was unfolding before me. Street urchins are not an uncommon sight where I stay, but never before had I witnessed such a pure act of kindness and compassion. The action of the youth was touching and I stood there transfixed at the act which I had just seen. The smile on the faces of the urchin’ face was brighter than a million stars lighting up a night sky. They regarded their saviour with such reverence that it was hard to tear my gaze away from it. In turn, the youth was also beaming, seeing them devouring the food with haste.

This random act of kindness by the youth is something I will never forget. To be able to find the capacity to help another human being I such a capacity is something not everyone can find in themselves. We struggle ever day to come to terms with hurdles facing us. In order to look up and see the need of another is not what most of us can do. Yet, the youth had so easily changed the world for the moment for two complete strangers who had asked no more than for a paltry amount of money in order to feed themselves.

Such random acts of kindness make the world a beautiful pace to stay in. We are all connected to each other in some twisted sort of way by the universe that we will never be able to figure out. One good deed done today could be returned manifold to us at a time when we find ourselves in need of some compassion. An act of kindness is not something done of pity or it isn’t an act of patronizing. We do it because it makes us feel happy. Our soul sings when it helps another soul in distress. It’s the kind of feeling you get when you find yourself in a big warm hug. It lights up your day with blissful joy. When you show kindness towards a fellow human being, you might feel that what you have done is very little, but you might not know the effect that that one little act, done with great love, could have on the person at almost the end of their rope.

So the next time you see a person grumbling by you, give them your biggest smile and see their frown turn upside down and experience the joy and gift of giving, even if it’s just a smile.

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