Sunday, April 25, 2010
Random act of kindness
"An ice cream vendor was standing in the sweltering heat along the asphalt road, waiting for customers. While he was only 45, the ravages of poverty made him look more like 65. He was wearing slippers and an old pair of jeans on top of a paper thin t-shirt that looked like it had gone through several years of use. It was a stark contrast to have someone like him peddling his wares along an upscale neighborhood. He lazily rang the bell hoping to beckon more buyers.
A young boy, not more than 8 years old came up to the vendor and asked him how much one scoop of ice cream on a cone would cost.
P20, replied the vendor.
The young boy turned around and opened his small purse. He had only a P20 bill.
He asked the vendor, "and how much would a scoop of ice cream cost if it was served in a cup?"
The vendor flashed a grin, and said, "P18 young man."
"Alright, give me one scoop of ice cream", the young boy said.
The young boy gave him the money, the vendor gave him back P2 and the young boy quietly savored the ice cream.
The vendor was tired, and he wanted to move on because it seemed that it would not be a good day...again. He was still ringing the ice cream bell when the young man tapped his shoulder and said that he was done eating. He returned the plastic cup to the vendor and thanked him.
The vendor found it odd that the boy had stayed on to eat the ice cream and oddly returned the cup in the end. But maybe he had no one to play with, as the boy, who seemed to come from a well-to-do family went back to the high fenced gate of his home.
The vendor sighed and put the cup in the side trash of his cart and began to push his ice cream cart. "I guess that would be it for this neighborhood...", he mumbled.
As he was pushing the cart, he heard some clinking on the trash bin. He stopped to pick up the cup that the boy gave him and saw a small piece of paper and P2 coins that read...
"Thank you for the ice cream...this is your tip..."
It's not everyday that we share a random act of kindness.
For some of us, it is not present in our vocabulary. For others, it is an overflowing gesture.
But kindness is not asked for. It is spontaneously given, it is free , it is a gesture of love for neighbor, it is what makes the world a better place to live. Most importantly, it does not require anything in return. It should be paid forward.
I look at kids each day and have watched many of them grow. Believe me when I say that the majority grow into the mirror image of their parents. We mold them into what they become.
The first random act of kindness is never seen in adulthood. It is during childhood that we share our first act of kindness. I guess over the years, how life treats us is how we share our acts of kindness as adults.
I cannot tell you how or whom to share an act of kindness today to. It will always be your call. But this I firmly believe - look at the world through the eyes of a child. Not through your hurts, pains and frustrations. You will never see kindness here.
Look through the eyes of a child. No malice, no reservations, no frustrations, no pain and sorrow. Like a child who easily forgives, we need to let go...so that we can share a random act of kindness each day of our lives.