So there I was sitting under a tree on the roadside with my friends, crankily complaining about the daily ordeal we have to undergo under the name of college: Boring subjects, endless assignments and projects, irksome professors, and inessential compulsory attendance. Our lives would have been so pleasurable only if that thoughtless Pandora wouldn’t have opened that mysterious trunk. But that is another story!
To continue with my story, we all had our tiffin-boxes open but were too busy chit-chattering to realize our hunger. As soon as our complains turned into gossips about the few hot guys that got admitted in our college this year, two very young shabbily dressed kids came up to us begging.
To comply with the common notion that revolves around begging, some of my gang-mates asked them to “bugger off” in the most polite way they could. Ashamed of their act, I called them kids back and asked if they’d want something to eat to which they happily agreed. I handed them my tiffin box, which contained the delicious lemon rice that mum made. (Darn, I’m hungry now!) With the background music of “ooooh”s and “aaaah”s and “aaaye haaaye”s, I was busy smiling to my inner self which was happier than ever, making me forget all the complains I had been making just a few minutes before. How self-satisfying the entire incident was!
Have you ever been so fat dumb and happy?
Of course, you might have.
But, WAIT! I am not talking about those times when that mega-crush of yours looked at you and smiled and you beamed with happiness, or when your lover proposed you with that beautiful ring on a boat at midnight and your joy knew no bounds!
I might be talking about the moments that define your life:
These are some of the precious fragments of our lives that, at one point or another, make us feel content and happy.
(I know adding lemon rice to the list is odd, but food is one thing that makes me content and happy!)
Then what precisely am I talking about?
I am talking about those moments that define the essence of your life.
I am definitely talking about the acts of benevolence which render meaning to your crazy existence; the deeds which divulge you the secret of satiety of the soul.
One Random Act of Kindness
Yes, I am a fan of Morgan Freeman but here, I am citing this quote from his movie Evan Almighty because the message of the movie is only true.
Here, I would like to quote the 14th Dalai Lama:
“When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel love and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.”
So how do you start?
You start by believing in the act that you are going to do. You do not need to stress over it, because I’m sure you’ll find enough opportunities on a daily basis to show some kindness. The acts you do might inflict others around you to learn from you and carry out the same. As the ripple effect increases, you will find the world around you to be a lot kinder and happier and peaceful-er for
“Wherever there is a human in need, there is an opportunity for kindness and to make a difference.”
– Kevin Heath
I am not merely being philosophical – I am sure you will agree with this if you give it a calm little thought. Kindness, benevolence, charity, altruism: call it by any name, it is the key to soul’s satisfaction.
I’ll try and list down some of the acts of benevolence I’ve seen people doing around me and some of which I, too, have followed. I bet any act of kindness gives that rare special feeling of immense fulfillment of the reason of your being.
- Smile a lot.
- Send a thank you card to a person who has helped you in the past.
- Offer water to your postman or delivery person.
- Distribute cookies, chocolates or biscuits to slum children.
- Donate money/clothes/time/blood.
- Slip paper notes under windshields wipers of parked cars wishing them a good day.
- Hug your friends.
- Help a blind person cross the road.
- Offer someone your seat in the bus.
- Compliment a stranger.
- Leave a nice tip for the waiter.
- Thank your teachers.
- Extend a helping hand, if you can.
- Open the door for someone.
- Send someone a small gift anonymously.
- Be kind to animals.
- Again, smile a lot.
Have you also felt such a feeling which makes you brim, maybe even slop, with appeasement, content, gratification?
Are you walking on the road to sate your soul?
P.S. – To be sure those two kids did not belong to an organized begging gang, I met their parents. They were labors who worked at construction sites but hadn’t been paid for the last week by the contractor. The kids were well aware of the importance of hard earned money and told me that they did not like begging. May God bless them.
P.P.S. – Okay, I am updating this for the fourth time in the last 10 minutes, but I totally forgot to include this amazing Olympic story of kindness that exemplifies my post in its entirety:
17-year-old Meghan Vogel was in last place in the 3,200-meter run when she caught up to competitor Arden McMath, whose body was giving out. Instead of running past her to avoid the last-place finish, Vogel put McMath’s arm around her shoulders, carried her 30 meters, and then pushed her over the finish line before crossing it.