It’s been almost a year since I last wrote about an act of kindness in my neighbourhood.
I know there must have been loads of kind acts all over in the interim but, with the lockdowns and stay home orders, these acts remained unobserved.
Well, I was out today and this is what I saw:
An elderly lady was sitting on some steps outside a shopping centre entrance. She was sipping out of a water bottle, and there was a cane and two shopping bags beside her.
I was inside a shop and, as I watched, she tucked her bottle away and reached for her cane to stand. She appeared to have difficulty getting to her feet; she struggled to balance her weight on her cane while trying to pull herself up using the railing.
Even as I prepared to head out to offer to help, a man and woman stopped. There was a brief conversation then the man bent over at his waist to her height – he’d offered his back for her to push herself up. The woman picked up the cane and the bags. A second man stopped and supported the elderly lady as she rose.
It took several minutes before the elderly lady was on her feet. The two men helped her down the steps to the road level. The woman handed her her belongings and the four of them went their separate ways.
Me? I felt too much.
First of all, the elderly lady could have been my mother – the one I cannot be in the same room with. Despite my issues with her, I hope she gets help when she needs it.
Second, the elderly lady was alone. I don’t know her story but I can’t help wondering and worrying what might have happened if the three people hadn’t stopped to help her.
Third, it warmed my heart that total strangers helped someone in need, never mind the Covid restrictions.
Fourth, I regret not hurrying forth to help. Just as I regret so many things I could have done in my life that may, or may not, have mattered to someone else.
Realistically, the others would have reached her before I arrived. I tell myself my instinct was to help. That will have to be enough.
Thank you to the three heroes. You helped a stranger but you showed this stranger that there is still kindness out there.
With the novel coronavirus rampaging away in ever expanding parts of the globe, it is hard to imagine folks bothering about anyone else.
We’ve read or heard stories about skirmishes over the last box of surgical masks, pet dogs and cats abandoned and forsaken, Asians insulted and spat on just because they were assumed to be virus carrying Chinese. Then there’s the manic buying of groceries and sanitizer that left supermarket shelves bare. And the snaking queues to buy masks.
It’s sad but not unexpected, I suppose, to behave as if there’s tomorrow so you can be a totally selfish being today; the daily increase of infection numbers and deaths do nothing to calm the anxieties and panic gripping so many countries.
I don’t know if the outbreak has peaked or if the worst is impending. But I know there is truth in the old saying that true character will be revealed in trying times.
Stories have emerged of quiet heroes who have donated masks and sanitisers to those who need them more. Youths who have set up collection points to collect these donations and deliver them.
Anonymous big-hearted people have tied bottles of sanitisers to lifts with messages of encouragement to share and take care of each other. Even more heart warming are the scribbles of thanks.
So, thank you, all of you, whoever you are. You could have hoarded your supplies but you chose to share them with your communities. Your kindness and generosity will be remembered.
This heart warming story was on the news so I thought I’d share it with you.
An elderly resident living in an apartment block recently had stomach surgery. Alone, hungry, in pain and unable to walk to the nearby market to get her meal, she turned to the only person within calling distance: the cleaner, Mr Kalam.
Mr Kalam, a foreign national, had worked as a cleaner in the neighbourhood for ten years and was a familiar face to many of the residents. While washing the common corridor outside of the lady’s unit, he heard her call out to him. She told him she had no food; could he buy some for her?
Mr Kalam did one better. He hurried to where he’d kept his belongings – a good ten minute walk away – and fetched his own homecooked lunch of curry and rice. Wanting to hurry back to the lady, he borrowed an e-scooter from another resident.
And was stopped by passing policemen.
Because cleaning crew are not allowed to use e-scooters, for their own and the residents’ safety, Mr Kalam had some explaining to do. Fortunately, the policemen were understanding and sent him on his way.
The elderly lady got her lunch and the police featured Mr Kalam on their Facebook page. Mr Kalam, whose supervisor credits him as one of the kindest men he’s ever met, received a letter of commendation from the Member of Parliament for that neighbourhood.