I read this a while ago and it has stuck with me ever since: “leave people in a better state than you first seen them”
If people come to me for help, it’s hard to turn them down. Big or small, I’ll try to help. Sometimes, all people need is a listening ear or an assurance that things will be fine. They don’t need advice or solution. That’s what I’ve been doing for the past few years as I develop more empathy for things happening around me. Be sensitive to others and be more aware of the surrounding.
Two days back, I met this uncle underneath my block. He was engaged by a research firm to conduct survey on behalf of law ministry. He was old, his movements were slow and he looked a little jaded. Probably too many rejections from weary neighbours.
He approached me, rather suspiciously, asking if I’ve 10 minutes and if I’m a local. His approach, though not tactful, was genuine. I agreed to help him. Entering the lift, he turned to ask a man with a baby and wife if he was willing to spare some time and help him with the survey. The man replied with a smirk expression and tone. That kind of attitude was uncalled for.
When I was done with the survey, the uncle let out a wide grin and thanked me repeatedly. Who knows how many more doors he has to knock before someone is willing to help him out. I lose nothing by helping him, except 10 minutes of time. But to him, that one survey is one more step closer to his quota, after which he can go back home and probably spend the day resting his legs and watching TV. We are all doing a job, why make things difficult for others unnecessarily.
Make people’s day. Say thank you to the cleaners and service staffs. You never know what kind of treatments they may have gotten from customers, and a simple but appreciative thanks means a lot to them.
Last week, I was watching a drama and there this scene that describes a poor child going to the church for bread. The father gave him a bread, and the starving child thank him. But the father said to him, there’s no need to thank me. Instead, he drew a circle. “Everything comes in circle. Today, I’m helping you. Tomorrow, you’ll be able to help others. Some day, the person you helped will help me. It’s a circle.” From that day on, the grateful child constantly return to the church for bread. Instead of saying thanks, he drew a circle using his fingers. The father named him Circle.
It reminds me of this Thai commercial – a poor man with a big heart, who could have lived a better live if not for the help he constantly renders to others. And what do he get in return?
When he helps others, he gets nothing. Nothing except emotions. He witnesses happiness. Making others happy makes him happy. Because when we share and give, the sense of happiness that last longer and deeper.
I believe everything comes in circles. When we help others, we are also helping ourselves.