Parade

Parade

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photo credit: AD images

You saunter by each weekday
In your suit and backpack.
Talking on your mobile
Starbucks in hand.

You sail by each weekend
In your hipster clothes and scooter
Plugged in, singing
Someplace to go.

You struggle by each evening
Every step an effort
A victory against debilitation
Survival of the fittest.

You sashay by each Thursday
In your designer workout gear
Smiling at your phone
Sun salutations await.

You stroll by every Tuesday and Friday
Okay, sometimes you jog
Eyes ever alert
Stylish dogs on leashes.

You strut by every daylight hour
In your feathery finery
Sometimes you coo
Sometimes you poo.

You stomp by every Wednesday
In your too-tight uniform
You hate your job, don’t you?
Scowling won’t make it better.

I see you all
I see more than I should.
I am not invisible.
It is you who do not see.

————–

DAILY PROMPT ~ INVISIBLE

Teatime Treat ~ Act of Kindness #14

Teatime Treat ~ Act of Kindness #14

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The doorbell rang just moments ago as I was happily reading.

There stood my neighbour, Mr C, with a box. After our usual pleasantries, he held out the box (it’s the one in the picture) and said it was for my family’s tea.

I was quite bewildered. Did I forget somebody’s birthday? Anniversary? Was somebody celebrating something else I had forgotten?

“No, no. We ordered some macarons from this online baker that my wife likes. So she got an extra box for you all. Enjoy!”

Wow!

—————–

DAILY PROMPT ~ WONDER

Soul Food ~ Act of Kindness #13

Soul Food ~ Act of Kindness #13

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photo credit: alexandra

It was barely 9:00 am and it was already one of those mornings. The printer had a mysterious paper jam that nobody could find, the photocopier had run out of toner but nobody knew where the spare was and if there was one, the discussions were frustratingly unproductive … you know, those mornings.

Then the message came for us to head to the break room. Our automatic response was: what else had gone wrong now?

Turned out: nothing.

One of our colleagues had brought trays of muffins in various flavours and wanted us all to partake before they all got cold. And he (yes, he) had also refreshed the coffee makers so the first cups were on the way. The man had woken up early to bake because he felt it was ‘the right day’.

He was a tad late for work but nobody minded, not even the boss. He had completely turned the day around with one giving, gracious gesture. Thank you.

A Lunch Moment

A Lunch Moment

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photo credit: brad neathery

The oddest thing happened at lunch today.

Three young students, probably aged 13 or 14, came and stood by my table. I figured they were waiting for me or someone else to leave so they could sit.

Wrong.

I looked up and the shortest of the trio smiled awkwardly.

“Hi,” she said. “I know we’re interrupting your lunch … but we’re conducting a survey.”

“About what?”

“About teenagers in society.”

Which seemed a little broad in scope. So I prodded further. “And what exactly about that are you surveying?”

“We are doing a study on whether teenagers today show kindness to others. So we want to know your views and whether you have witnessed any kind acts.”

How about that.

Reading Bug ~ Act of Kindness #10

Reading Bug ~ Act of Kindness #10

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I came across this Reading Corner at the airport, of all places.

Intrigued, I wanted to inspect the titles and savour this joyful moment of discovering such a corner in an airport. First, however, I wanted to take a photo to prove I wasn’t hallucinating.

But as I lifted my camera, a little poppet galloped towards the shelves, shrieking, “Book! Book!”

I paused. A Reading Corner in a public space with books and a poppet excited by books?

Life had more surprises for me. The father grabbed the poppet. “Meimei, wait. Let the auntie take her photo first.”

It really was too much. I snapped the photo, thanked the father, waved at the poppet and retreated.

Inspecting book titles can wait. Celebrating this little vignette cannot. I am warmed by a father’s kind understanding and gracious patience, and a tiny child’s enthusiasm for books. And by the use of potential retail space for encouraging reading.

There is hope yet.

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The Umbrella ~ Act of Kindness #9

The Umbrella ~ Act of Kindness #9

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We moved into the neighbourhood about ten years ago.

For some reason, I never really got to know the neighbours. We would nod awkwardly when our paths crossed or we would politely return misdirected mail but that was it. Perhaps it was my work schedule. Perhaps it was theirs. Or, as The Munchkin suggested, perhaps it was my face, which looks even worse when I smile.

Anyway, sometime in 2016, The Munchkin and I went shopping in the neighbourhood mall. As we prepared to leave, we were confronted with relentless rain. At the edge of the covered walkway stood Mr K. He was clutching his phone and we heard him say, “I can’t come right now because it’s raining,” as we drew nearer.

I handed him my umbrella. “Take it.”

I’ve never seen greater flabbergasted relief. “I … yes … no … yes … yourself?”

The Munchkin brandished our second umbrella (nobody remembers why we had two), and I assured Mr K that we would be fine. He grabbed the umbrella like a life vest and shot off across the street. We continued home.

We had barely put away our shopping when the doorbell rang. There was Mr K, Junior K, and my umbrella. There were thanks and pleasantries all round and that was that.

But it wasn’t. Thereafter, Mr K and his family never failed to say hi or stop to chat. Then the other neighbours started saying hi. And now we pretty much know everybody, and it feels like we’re a community.

Thanks, of all things, to an umbrella.

Johnny Depp and the Five Stars

Johnny Depp and the Five Stars

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FANBOYS, ROY B GIV, MICE … No matter what the subject, mnemonics have served learners all over the world well.

My country’s flag has five stars and a crescent moon. At school, most kids have no problems explaining what the moon represents. But the five stars? We’ve heard everything from lights to twinkles.

About a decade ago, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End reached our shores. Somewhere in the movie is a scene where Captain Sao Feng (Chow Yun Fatt), the Pirate Lord of Singapore, says, “Welcome to Singapore,” to the merry band of sailors here to rescue Jack Sparrow.

Historically, that wasn’t even what our country was called in the 1700s. But that’s not the point. My friends and I had an epiphany: Sparrow – Johnny Depp – star – Singapore! That was it!

Justice, Democracy, Equality, Peace, Progress. Those are the ideals as depicted by the five stars on the state flag.

And thanks to J Depp, I haven’t forgotten them yet.

———–

DAILY PROMPT ~ MNEMONIC

Helping Hands ~ Act of Kindness #8

Helping Hands ~ Act of Kindness #8

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photo credit: bady qb

Yesterday, I took a crowded bus home. Three stops later, it stopped for a Young Lady with a backpack and a tote bag on her shoulders, a stroller in which was a sleeping little one, and she was verbally managing a three (maybe four) year old.

Her accoutrements couldn’t quite fit past the support pole at the boarding point, so she moved to the rear where there was supposed to be a retractable ramp. Naturally, this was the bus with a driver who couldn’t or wouldn’t get the ramp out.

Young Lady ordered the three year old to precede her up the bus. Middle-Aged Uncle vacated his seat for the child, who took one look at him and shrieked for reasons only he knew. The startled Young Lady, who was still on the pavement, panicked.

Unfortunately, the gap between the pavement and the edge of the step was too wide for her to safely tilt the stroller’s front wheels up and into the bus – if you’ve ever pushed a stroller, you’ll know what I mean. In any case, there was another step at that doorway to conquer before getting all the way in.

Three of us had moved forward at this point to help. The three year old shrieked louder, the little one was now awake and displeased, Young Woman was frazzled and the bus driver was glaring in the rear view mirror. (Seriously, you couldn’t do something more useful? Like lower the ramp?)

An Elderly Uncle appeared. He gestured for us to move back, told Young Lady to tend to the three year old and physically lugged the stroller up the bus. Middle Aged Uncle had taken Young Lady’s bags and placed them on the seat. While we were all relieved that the little group was now safely inside the bus, we were concerned that the driver would move off before Elderly Uncle alighted. Fortunately, the driver apparently had enough sense to wait. Also, an Auntie up front had started raising her voice at him. (Good!)

There was a chorus of thanks all round. Elderly Uncle waved at us all and went on his way. We moved on. Sadly, I can’t tell you what fate befell the driver because I alighted at the next stop.

Thank you all, especially Elderly Uncle, for extending helping hands where they were needed.