“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
You’ve often heard that – people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. We often talk of our desire to see the world a changed place but we do nothing about it. A lot can change if we treat people well, if we show kindness to the people we come across daily, if we aim to plant smiles on people’s faces, if we treat people nicely irrespective of class, race or faith. Every human has intrinsic value. No one is entirely useless. The fact that someone doesn’t meet up to your expectation in a particular area doesn’t mean you treat them as garbage. Every human is a gold mine and ought to be treated with value. Be kind.
In our part of the world, we don’t value one another, hence our governments don’t care to give us good roads, fund schools or equip hospitals. And it cascades down to the society, it shows in how we treat one another in the neighbourhood, workplace etc.
It’s a hurting world no doubt. You already have your own list of worries to attend to. But you can still be the soothing balm for someone. There are people who already have a thousand and one reasons to jump off the cliff, don’t be the one to add another thousand reasons, rather be the one to offer a thousand and one reasons to keep going. Touch a life positively, do good, be kind.
You may not see the reason why you should lift others up, but let me show you why. It’s because everyone is an extension of God, everyone you see deserves to be treated like God. It’s perplexing to realize that kind acts are rare in such a religious country like Nigeria. We will go any length to make people know we are believers but stop short at doing good deeds. Kindness is mainly in doing, not just in saying. We build houses with tall fences and barbed wire to keep the hungry away from our abode. We are quick to tell needy people “it is well” when we can do something about their situation.
When there is a discourse on kind acts, it is not unusual to share the story I am about to share. It is highly probable that you’ve read or heard about it, however let me reproduce it here for the sake of those who are yet to come across it. I did a little research on the story and found out that it is actually a true life story but the popular version has been modified to make it more “interesting,” but I have modified this version to make it look real. Enjoy it:
“One day, a hungry boy decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door. Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry so she brought him a glass of milk. He drank it slowly, and then asked, ‘How much do I owe you?’.’You don’t owe me anything,’ she replied.’Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness.’
“Years later that young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease. Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes.
“Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room. Dressed in his doctor’s gown he went in to see her. He recognized her at once. He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to the case. After a long struggle, the battle was won. Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge and the bill was sent to her room.
“She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill. She read these words….. ‘Paid in full with one glass of milk.”
In closing, let me state that kind acts don’t die, they go ahead of us into the future, that’s why I call them seeds of kindness. You may not get them back from those you offered them to but you will reap them. Remember karma, its the outcome of what you do, just give it time.
PS: Dr. Howard Kelly was one of the four founding doctors of Johns Hopkins, the first medical research university in the United States. You can read up all the versions of the story by searching with ‘paid in full with one glass of milk’ on google.
I am seunalade