Friday, August 24, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness

A couple of days ago, I turned my room topsy turvy, hunting for a stapler. I had a lesson the next day, and wanted to prepare for it, by analysing the readings assigned to us. There were three in total, and each was quite a few pages long. It felt good trying to get things in order, and for that I needed to file them in, which meant neatly stapling them together. Sadly, I'm a trifle messy when it comes to things like this (When will you ever learn, Amma says) and in the midst of shifting rooms, I think I must have lost my stapler somewhere. That ruined my entire good mood. I began to get cranky, but since nobody was there to tolerate my tantrums, that also passed away. It was nearly midnight, and I was tempted to go to bed without reading through, but felt a little guilty at that. I heard my neighbour moving around her room, and decided it wouldn't hurt to borrow her stapler. Now, it's just been around two weeks since the new semester began, and I really don't know her well, not even her name. We have met each other, of course- in the cluster kitchen, in the lift, and so on. Exchanged polite smiles. That's about it. Any way, I knocked, and when she opened the door, asked her whether she had a stapler. This was a little awkward- I'm guessing she's a freshman, and she is obviously not a local student. So she might have found the new environment daunting, or maybe she couldn't figure out my 'Inglish' (Indian way of speaking English :P). Finally, I resorted to gestures by showing her my file and the papers. She shook her head, gave an almost apologetic smile, and said that she didn't have one.

So I returned to my room, too tired to ask anybody else.  Around 15 minutes later, I decided to hit the sack and wake up early instead to complete the reading. That's when I heard a knock on my door. Tired at best, irritated at worst, I opened the door. My neighbour was there. She had a bunch of papers in her hand, held together by a paper clip. No, she didn't have a stapler, but she did have some paper clips. Would those be okay?

I was really touched by the gesture. This is a person I hardly knew, and if I were in her place, I probably wouldn't have taken the trouble to get back to someone I was barely acquainted with, at such a late hour, even if I had eventually found a stapler. So thoughtful and considerate of my neighbour! It may sound like a very small thing, but it does leave a huge impact. I'll definitely remember this the next time I jump and quickly explain  why or how I will not be able to help someone else.

Another incident occurred today, which once again proved to me that you can always help people if you try. I had gone off to the hawker centre for lunch, (I converted my summer internship into a part time one, and now work twice a week) and was returning to my office, when all of a sudden, it began to rain. Singapore has an extremely unpredictable weather- tropical and humid, sunny one moment, gloomy the next. You may need sun glasses one moment, an umbrella the next. Waiting at the zebra crossing without an umbrella was dreadful. I was beginning to get drenched and cursed myself for having ignored the darkening skies when I left my desk for lunch. An elderly gentleman was standing near me at the crossing, and noticing my deplorable state, offered to share his umbrella with me. The office was just a stone's throw away, and it really wouldn't have mattered, because I could have reached quite quickly, although I would still be drenched. But having discovered that I was going the same way as him, this elderly uncle didn't hesitate to share his umbrella. I couldn't thank him enough. Would I have done it? Sure, if  it was my friend or even a casual acquaintance, the latter although hesitatingly. But for a random stranger on the street? Food for thought indeed! I surely have miles to go in my journey to be a better human being. 

4 comments:

  1. Well, for starters its acts like these that remind us why the earth is still in one piece despite countries threatening one another with their nuclear arsenal.

    Oh, I`ve been the umbrella sharer quite a few times at the traffic signal outside the nearest underground station where there is no cover against the rain - So I guess I can pull my collar up :P.

    Very heartening post Sruthi.

    Cheers :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's exactly what I thought as well! People like this are the reason why the world may not be such a bad place after all. :)
      Thanks so much for coming by. Really appreciate it! :)

      Delete
  2. So true. Giving doesn't have to be in thousands. Just a small act of kindness towards random strangers speaks volumes about who a person is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As Mother Teresa said, 'little drops make the ocean.' A little kindness goes a long way indeed- I don't think I will ever forget this neighbour or the uncle on the street who showed me this lesson in practice.
      Thanks sumitra! :)

      Delete

Friday, August 24, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness

A couple of days ago, I turned my room topsy turvy, hunting for a stapler. I had a lesson the next day, and wanted to prepare for it, by analysing the readings assigned to us. There were three in total, and each was quite a few pages long. It felt good trying to get things in order, and for that I needed to file them in, which meant neatly stapling them together. Sadly, I'm a trifle messy when it comes to things like this (When will you ever learn, Amma says) and in the midst of shifting rooms, I think I must have lost my stapler somewhere. That ruined my entire good mood. I began to get cranky, but since nobody was there to tolerate my tantrums, that also passed away. It was nearly midnight, and I was tempted to go to bed without reading through, but felt a little guilty at that. I heard my neighbour moving around her room, and decided it wouldn't hurt to borrow her stapler. Now, it's just been around two weeks since the new semester began, and I really don't know her well, not even her name. We have met each other, of course- in the cluster kitchen, in the lift, and so on. Exchanged polite smiles. That's about it. Any way, I knocked, and when she opened the door, asked her whether she had a stapler. This was a little awkward- I'm guessing she's a freshman, and she is obviously not a local student. So she might have found the new environment daunting, or maybe she couldn't figure out my 'Inglish' (Indian way of speaking English :P). Finally, I resorted to gestures by showing her my file and the papers. She shook her head, gave an almost apologetic smile, and said that she didn't have one.

So I returned to my room, too tired to ask anybody else.  Around 15 minutes later, I decided to hit the sack and wake up early instead to complete the reading. That's when I heard a knock on my door. Tired at best, irritated at worst, I opened the door. My neighbour was there. She had a bunch of papers in her hand, held together by a paper clip. No, she didn't have a stapler, but she did have some paper clips. Would those be okay?

I was really touched by the gesture. This is a person I hardly knew, and if I were in her place, I probably wouldn't have taken the trouble to get back to someone I was barely acquainted with, at such a late hour, even if I had eventually found a stapler. So thoughtful and considerate of my neighbour! It may sound like a very small thing, but it does leave a huge impact. I'll definitely remember this the next time I jump and quickly explain  why or how I will not be able to help someone else.

Another incident occurred today, which once again proved to me that you can always help people if you try. I had gone off to the hawker centre for lunch, (I converted my summer internship into a part time one, and now work twice a week) and was returning to my office, when all of a sudden, it began to rain. Singapore has an extremely unpredictable weather- tropical and humid, sunny one moment, gloomy the next. You may need sun glasses one moment, an umbrella the next. Waiting at the zebra crossing without an umbrella was dreadful. I was beginning to get drenched and cursed myself for having ignored the darkening skies when I left my desk for lunch. An elderly gentleman was standing near me at the crossing, and noticing my deplorable state, offered to share his umbrella with me. The office was just a stone's throw away, and it really wouldn't have mattered, because I could have reached quite quickly, although I would still be drenched. But having discovered that I was going the same way as him, this elderly uncle didn't hesitate to share his umbrella. I couldn't thank him enough. Would I have done it? Sure, if  it was my friend or even a casual acquaintance, the latter although hesitatingly. But for a random stranger on the street? Food for thought indeed! I surely have miles to go in my journey to be a better human being. 

4 comments:

  1. Well, for starters its acts like these that remind us why the earth is still in one piece despite countries threatening one another with their nuclear arsenal.

    Oh, I`ve been the umbrella sharer quite a few times at the traffic signal outside the nearest underground station where there is no cover against the rain - So I guess I can pull my collar up :P.

    Very heartening post Sruthi.

    Cheers :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's exactly what I thought as well! People like this are the reason why the world may not be such a bad place after all. :)
      Thanks so much for coming by. Really appreciate it! :)

      Delete
  2. So true. Giving doesn't have to be in thousands. Just a small act of kindness towards random strangers speaks volumes about who a person is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As Mother Teresa said, 'little drops make the ocean.' A little kindness goes a long way indeed- I don't think I will ever forget this neighbour or the uncle on the street who showed me this lesson in practice.
      Thanks sumitra! :)

      Delete