Kindness is the simplest, least costly way to touch someone’s heart. A few years ago my father was deathly ill and we almost lost him. My siblings and my mother and I spent countless months sleeping in uncomfortable chairs beside his bed, pacing hospital corridors, consulting specialist after specialist. We got to know the hospital staff pretty well – I’m talking about all the way from the security guards to the janitors to the nursing staff to the doctors. It was absolutely exhausting.
I cannot begin to tell you how exhausting it is to live day by day not knowing what the next ten minutes holds. It’s like you’re walking around holding your breath in case the bubble bursts. It is draining emotionally, physically, spiritually, psychologically, and in any other way you could imagine. The one thing I remember clear as day that got us through – each of us coping in our own way – was the kindness of friends, family, and strangers alike. We made unlikely acquaintances in the oddest of places.
One particular man stands out in my mind. He was of Indian decent who came to attend to my father after a particularly long day. I have never seen anyone so respectful of their patient. He excused himself as he had entered while my mother and I were there. He introduced himself and explained in detail what his role was. He apologized for any discomfort. He kept addressing my father as Sir. Now this may seem normal to some but for us, after three odd years being in and out of hospitals, it was astounding. You see a lot of the people we dealt with over the years one way or another treated my father as Patient Number XXX – but this man saw beyond the technicality and humanized my father and gave him the respect due to a man of his age and stature. I will never forget that even though my father was not his patient, he would from time to time come and check on him – just because he was concerned. It brought tears to my eyes. It wasn’t that he was particularly special – it was that his kindness touched me in a way that very few things had over those years.
He was a kind and gentle soul who treated my father – and even my mother and myself with a kindness and gentleness that most others had long forgotten. You may wonder why I have gone on and on with my story – the moral is simple: it takes nothing out of you to be kind to someone – but you may never know how much it touches that person. You don’t know their story or their journey and may be dealing with incomplete paradigms from your point of view. But that one act of kindness could be a lifeline to someone. I do not agree with the concept of Random Acts of Kindness simply because I believe acts of kindness should be anything but random. The world needs healing and if you ask me, it will only do so if we begin to show kindness and consideration to one another – regardless of whether they are friends or enemies, strangers or frenemies.
So today I beseech you – take the time to be kind to someone. It could just save their life.
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