G’day my friends. I would like to share some anecdotes today that really stuck with me because they encompass altruism and good faith from total strangers.
I was in Taipei Central Station to look for the drop-off where you could deposit your luggage for a minimal fee while you wander around the city. Was looking back and forth from my screen and the slightly confusing signs above when a local couple came up to me and asked if I needed help. I admit I was slightly taken aback. Skepticism grew in me, despite being affirmed of the friendliness of the Taiwanese people before.
I internalised. “Are you real? Who would spot lost travelers on purpose and to offer help?” I politely declined and they left, but I found myself hesitating and turned back to catch up to them. I put down my irrational pride and asked for the help they offered. I’ve never felt more renewed and motivated to be a better human being from then on.
Paying it Forward
And then, it was a small incident that happened at the Shenzhen airport. I was in the transit area when I didn’t have any local currency left on me to buy a bottle of water. So I left without one.
Unbeknownst to me, a girl who was behind me in line witnessed my little problem earlier and came up to where I was sitting to offer me the bottle of water she bought for me. I thought, “Wow. This is a true Pay-It-Forward moment.” It is exactly the small act of kindness like this that inspires us to be kind to one another everyday. As David Foster Wallace said in his beautiful commencement speech, “This is Water”:
I can choose to force myself to consider the likelihood that everyone else in the supermarket’s checkout line is just as bored and frustrated as I am, and that some of these people probably have harder, more tedious and painful lives than I do.This is Water, David Foster Wallace
Kindness starts with many, many ways. Leaving candy bars for your colleagues, topping up someone’s bill when they find themselves short, leaving nice notes, buying a drink for a stranger, and etc. There are really many ways to express kindness if you truly care.