This topic has been on my mind for a while. What triggered it was a parcel that arrived for me a few days ago – that too, during a delicate conversation going on in my lounge – so it was even more welcome. My friends in Lahore, never forget me when they exchange gifts with each other.
My gift arrives in my home promptly too. This time, it was from a long-lost relative turned friend. Such a lovely surprise, a designer shirt arriving in my lap! Yes, a real act of kindness, a beautiful way to surprise and make someone very happy.
So, what happens? It starts a ripple of kind acts. You want to reciprocate, not only to the person who sent you the gift, but also to some other unsuspecting ‘victim’ 😉
You must have heard of the lift man who was spoken rudely to, by a person using the lift. That man’s boss had been nasty to him, so he was nasty to the lift-man. So, the lift-man went home and got nasty with his wife, and then she got nasty with her kids. So, the ripple effect of one nasty act kept on and on going further.
In the same way, the ripple affect of kindness goes on and on. Isn’t it a far healthier ripple to propagate?
Charity is one such way, and when you are hard on cash you can give ‘charity’ by your acts of kindness. I’m sure we all have experienced a lot of it.
In life, a time comes when kindness becomes more important than an intelligent conversation. One loves to be surprised off and on by acts of kindness of one’s loved ones. It has even more impact when it is from a total stranger. We all have faced it and loved it.
In many ways, I think it begins with an intent, then providence offers you many opportunities for it. The most important thing is to not let the person being helped, feel inferior. In fact as if that person is doing you a good turn by accepting your kindness, otherwise, whom would you be kind to?
It is believed that Pakistan is the next most charity giving country after America. It’s a great feeling to see that. In the US, one sees how people just stop for a pedestrian crossing the road. A motorist will even wait while you decide, where you want to go! (Yes, that was a real surprise.) There is large scale work being done there and in many parts of the world, for charity alone.
In fact, I believe all the prophets and religions in the world came mostly for this; To make people realize the importance of kindness and justice.
So, Alhamdolillah, we have wonderful people living all over the world.
In my life, I’ve found that when life is not being too good. One is feeling down and upset. The best thing to do is to do something wonderful for another person. Their happiness will give you the joy that is missing in your life right now. Instead of popping down those anti-depressants into your mouth, just go out and help someone.
Here are some acts of kindness that not only make the other person’s day, but yours too:
1 Cook something nice and give it to poor people living nearby, or your neighbors.
2 Help a person cross the road, or give a lift in your car, to a person who is struggling with lots of weight of packages, or is old and feeble. Especially so, when there is a downpour of rain, or too hot and humid a weather.
3 Giving some cold drinks or snacks to laborers working at some construction site.
4 Paying school fees for children of your employees. Paying hospital bills of your staff. Getting medicines for your employees.
7 Getting clothes made for your staff on Eid, Christmas and other occasions.
8 Sharing the first fruit of the season with some poor people living nearby.
9 Volunteering at an orphanage. You can give tuitions to children there on a daily or weekly basis. Speak to the management, and they will cooperate. Stephanie Larkin in Seattle, helps the Somali refugees trying to settle down in USA. In the picture she is gifting me a book she wrote on her experiences. So, one can help refugees and other people affected by a disaster.
10 Giving fruit and snacks in a ward of a hospital. Going there and sitting with the very ill patients just giving them solace, and listening to them. You can sit by them and read ayats from Quran to make them feel better.
11 Paying cash to an organization which is busy doing research for cancer, or any other illness.
12 Paying more than required, or giving a gift when you are very satisfied as a customer!
Stay blessed my dear reader, and keep blessing others too. 🙂
Note: Photographs provided by author, Nadiya Najib, Nataliya Khan and Ahmed Bilal and Waliya Najib Khan.