15.7.12

The lucky earbud and other acts of random kindness


I am a big believer in the old adage that you should always treat others the way you would want them to treat you. As you walk around the streets of your town, I am sure you will see bad things happen. What we forget though is all the little random acts of kindness that we see on a daily basis. Today I took a nice meandering walk from my apartment to Little India to meet a friend for dinner. With my headphones in my ears, I drifted through a few hawker centres and shops along the way where I noticed some random acts of kindness. There was the man who let the old lady behind him take the first taxi. There was the young boy who shared his ice-cream with his sister (under duress but he still did!). There was the hawker centre stall owner who had closed his stall but still served a late customer.

When I entered the Mustafa centre, I saw a lady drop her shopping bag next to me and impulsively bent down to help her pick everything up. Another person did the same and we had everything picked up within a minute. The shopping-dropper smiled and said 謝謝 before moving on to the next aisle. No big deal - I am sure most of you would have done the same.

As I walked through the jungle that is the Mustafa centre, my headphones got caught on a shelf and the earbud popped out onto the floor. I could not see it anywhere. I could see the electronics section so decided to check if I could get a replacement. The uncle behind the till showed me a pack of 6 earbuds and I said I just wanted 1. He reached under the counter, found one and handed it over. It fitted perfectly and I got my wallet out. He leaned over and said "Do not worry son. You can just have it. I know how annoying it is to lose just one." Another random act of kindness.

So I am not sure what the point of this story is. Maybe you have already noticed these many random acts of kindness that take place everyday and I was slow to observe and take note? Maybe you do not find it that interesting? Maybe I am overanalysing these acts and trying to connect them when no connection exists? Well I guess my point is - why not try yourself? Please let me know if you perform a random act of kindness and you find one is returned to you soon after! I hope that there is some truth in my hypothesis.