Day 144: Acts of kindness

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
– Aesop

Everyday as I walk to work, I encounter one or two homeless people in the subway system or on the street. I, like most people I know, get caught up in my own daily routine and barely give them a second glance most of the time.

In the past, there have been days where I’ve given them a couple of dollars or bought them something to eat. Today was one of those days.

I was rushing back to work after lunch and just like most days, I rushed past a homeless man. But this time, his sign caught my eye. It said he was struggling to eat and anything would be appreciated. So I turned course and decided to buy him a muffin. The look he gave me was one of surprise mixed with gratitude. He thanked me and was smiling from ear to ear. It was a good feeling – doing nice things for others really is good for the soul.

There’s a lot of stigma in my city around homelessness. A lot of people don’t like to approach the homeless, myself included sometimes. Some people assume that if you give them money, they will spend it on drugs or alcohol. Some people think they are lazy and don’t want to make something of their lives. Sometimes we make assumptions without knowing the real story, and that’s something I want to work on.

I would say I’m an open-minded person to begin with but there’s always room to grow. Even in other aspects of my life, I could learn to be more patient, understanding and not so quick to form opinions or judgements. Without knowing the whole story, I could be missing a critical piece of information that could alter the way I see someone or some situation. As they say, there are two sides to every story and my truth may not be the same as someone else’s.

Lesson for today: don’t accept things at face value and wherever or whenever possible, do something nice for someone in my life (no matter how small) because it just might be what they need to brighten up their day.

 

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