This article totally saved me! This afternoon as I walked from work to BART, I heard a noise, I turned to see that an older gentleman had fallen from his bike across the street. He had tied too many grocery bags to the handlebars and the bike tipped over. I tried crossing over immediately but the cars wouldn’t let me go through. Main street, during peak hours-not a good combination. I saw as the man struggled to get up, he would roll from one side to the other, with every one of those rows I could feel my heart sink lower and lower. I kept hoping that someone would see him and help him-they just drove by. I kept trying to cross, the cars wouldn’t stop. The drivers seemed not to care, they would look at me as I would yell “Are you okay?” They would turn to see who I was yelling at, but would still not stop. At this point I’m not sure how much lower my heart can sink. Finally, when I was able to make may over, he got up, and did a “I’m okay” wave.
As I turned around to continue my way to BART, I immediately froze. I realized that there was people sitting at a bus stop about 20 feet from me. But what really surprised me, was that as I turned to look at them, they looked the other way, one even turned his back to me. I was in total disbelief, could these people really not care? My heart sunk lower. They didn’t even have to pick the old man up, I would’ve done that! I would have just needed them to stop traffic for me as I made my way to help him up. They witnessed everything and did nothing.
I turned back to see how the old man was doing, he was walking away slowly but he seemed okay. I turned and took one last peek at the people siting on the bus stop. Interestingly, this time they looked in the direction of where the old man had fallen. I continued on my way to the station with a heavy heart. Could humanity really be this cruel? Could we be this cold? Have our circumstances made us this heartless towards another human being in need? By this point a knot had formed in my throat, it broke my heart to think that the answers to these questions could be a heart-wrenching “YES!”
To witness scenes like these, along with the injustices that occur throughout the globe, always make me sad. Yes, folks I am that girl who sits in front of a TV and cries when I hear of bombings, threats, murders, racism, (enter any other horrible thing that we as a human race do to one another here). Then I come home to a story such as the one above and it helps restore my faith in man. Reading some of the stories in the article made my eyes tear up, and it made me remember of when I was in both the giving and receiving end of someone’s generosity. How grateful one feels when someone helps you out, how it helps you walk tall again. How the sun seems to always shine again, how one looks up to the heavens in gratitude because someone out there heard your prayers and sent help. Moments like these are what make believers of the non-believers.
However, there’s also that amazing high that occurs after you’ve done something good for someone else. You just can’t help but smile and I swear you can actually feel your heart smile too. It’s such a wonderful feeling, you too seem to walk taller knowing that you helped someone. Seeing that person smile in gratitude, can sometimes transport you to a land where unicorns roam free and the clouds are made of marshmallows…okay, I’m exaggerating a bit! But, you do feel amazing after you’ve done a random act of kindness. If you’re as cheesy as I am, witnessing or even hearing about kindness will be enough to make you smile.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, go out and do something kind for someone. If you know someone in need, help them out. Before you say: “Moni, I’m broke!” remember “helping” does not solely apply to financial aid. Volunteering is a great way to help, spreading the word about someone’s cause or need, or getting others to help goes a long way too. Diving in to your networks and seeing what resources you have available to help someone is a great way to lend a hand. Still not sure try these: Give up your seat on the bus for someone, give your left overs to someone you see that is hungry, donate your old clothes, give a little extra on your tip, say “Good morning” to someone as you walk by in the morning. This one is one of my favorites, it makes my day when they answer! If they don’t, (maybe they need some extra time to process what I just said), I can just hope I made theirs! Just because something seems small, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t count. Every act of kindness in this sometimes cold world, goes a long way. Plus, I should warn you-it can be addicting!
I’ve been told I have a bleeding heart, maybe I do, but what’s wrong with that?
PS: Here’s a movie you must see: (warning: you will cry!)