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.
The words “Happy New Year” are quite, quite poignant for 2021, aren’t they? 2021 has so much on its shoulders because the world, and humanity, has placed such expectations on it, like employment, joy, peace, safety and happiness.
2020 was a challenging year for me. And I’m not sure if I should regard 2021 with suspicion or hope; hence, my coverpages for my journal this year:
To make this year a meaningful one, I’m committing to some mindful changes. I’ll write about them soon.
Meanwhile, have a safe, peaceful and happy 2021, everyone.
At 8pm this evening, people came to their balconies, windows, driveways and front doors to cheer, clap, whistle, sing and bang on pots and pans to salute the medical personnel, cleaning crews, grocery store stockers, clear-headed decision makers and everyone fighting this unseen enemy. It was amazing.
Many of us are in lockdown and coping with our new normal. Many of us want to do something, anything, to make things better for our countrymen who are working while we’re safe at home.
My heart is heavy with sorrow for the victims, their families and the tireless fighters. My throat is thick each time the news reports an increased figure in the statistics.
So I am thankful for this moment of solidarity this evening.
It was just a small gesture that carried a huge message of support. It was something we could do.
So perhaps what happened fhis evening wasn’t exactly kindness. It is certainly not unique, having taken place all over the world. It is a small wave of gratitude and thanks, a mere drop in the sea of sacrifice, vigilance and commitment for the fierce frontliners in the Covid-19 fight.
As a child, I thought the David Copperfield show was pure magic. He could make people float, he cut them up and they didn’t bleed, and he made airplanes and elephants disappear. How magical was that!
Then I grew up. And learnt about chemistry, physics, sleight of hand, optical illusions … suddenly, magic became de-magicked. I mean, The Magician’s Greatest Secrets was a hit on telly.
Today, definitely older and debatably wiser, David Cooperfield’s magic no longer enthralls me. I learnt that the real Copperfield was a Dickensian orphan made good. I have an unwillingness to suspend belief.
But I still believe in magic. I believe it’s the infant’s happy squeal, the child’s look of wonder and joy at his achievement, the deep and unspoken communication between animal and man, the music performance that brings an audience to tears …
I believe that the truly magical defies science and logic. Know where to look and you’ll find magic in the power of life that allows us to heal, and which teaches us to hope.