Thursday, April 12, 2018

K : Kindness #AtoZchallenge

The best portion of a good man's life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of  love ~William Wordsworth 

We are taught throughout our lives, either by instruction of our teachers, mentors and parents or by our own observations. We learn about success and failure. We learn about happiness and sadness. We learn about dreams and aspirations. We learn about manners and integrity. 

We aspire to be successful but don't learn how to deal with failure. We want to be happy, but can't handle sadness and despair. We don't know how to help someone when dreams are shattered. Or help ourselves for that matter. Manners and Integrity we learnt in school, dissolve the moment we witness the hard reality of the world. And it happens, way too often. 

An act of kindness, at the time we have failed, can help us stand up again. Few kind words, can boost our spirits, when we are sad. Cruel behavior can only be tempered with kindness. Then why we are never taught to be kind? (just paying lip service in schools is not enough)

I believe kindness is learnt by observing and sharing acts of kindness. Therefore I am sharing few acts of kindness where I was the beneficiary. 

1. No worries boy - I was in class 4th and had participated in a recital contest for the first time. One of my favorite teachers in school was listening to the recital. I was fumbling all through, forgetting what I had learnt. She was very patient and was constantly encouraging me to continue. At one point, I just gave up and stopped reciting. She didn't show any disappointment because of my failure. She remained calm and used warm words. She rescheduled my recital to next day and asked me to prepare again. Next day I was able to complete it. After that, I participated in that contest every year and did well. But had she not given me another chance that day, I don't think I would have succeeded. Thank you Baljeet Ma'am!

2. The Three Wheeler Ride - I used to travel from Lucknow to Faizabad for field visits and often used to take a shared cab (Commander / Bolero / Sumo were common at taxi stands). Then, in 2003-04, it was a three hour journey. On that fateful day, it was raining and roads were slippery. Half way through our journey, our Sumo veered off the road and hit a tree in the ditch by the side of the road. The driver ran away. Passengers on the front seat were injured badly. I was on the middle seat and had got injuries on my face, legs and possibly head. But I was so traumatized that for few minutes, I didn't know what was going on. After few minutes, when I regained control of my senses, I found myself lying on the road, and others had dispersed. I called my channel partner - Gagan ji - at Faizabad from my mobile phone (thankfully I had recently bought my first mobile phone) and informed him about my situation. He was far away to provide any help. But he called few of my colleagues and tracked one near my location. My colleague, Pradeep Munde, reached me in double quick time on a Mahindra Champion three-wheeler. He was in a nearby dealership. I was taken on that three-wheeler to the dealership. I was given first aid and then he took me back to Lucknow and a clinic. I was fine and had escaped the mishap with few injuries. After leaving that job, I lost touch with Pradeep. Much later I came to know he committed suicide due to personal reasons. I wish someone was there to offer a kind word to him at his lowest point. Thank you Gagan ji and Pradeep!

3. Lindt chocolates - I helped one of my senior colleagues once in making a presentation that he was going to deliver at some international forum. He was not my reporting manager. He briefed me on a Friday evening and was expecting the presentation over the weekend. I was more than happy to do it, because I had learnt a lot from him over past few years and I always felt a close bond with him. He is like a mentor to me. Next week, he messaged me after he delivered his presentation, and updated me on how it was received at the forum. On his return to India, he sent me a big box of Lindt chocolates along with a Thank You note. I was overwhelmed by his gesture. He didn't really have to do it - update me or send chocolates or say Thank You. I have helped many people in such things, but never expected anything in return. I was used to it. So this gesture of his not only made me feel happy, but also was a reflection of his kindness, which is so rare. And a lesson learnt as well. Never let a good deed go unappreciated. Thank you Jaideep Sir!

There are many people whom I can thank for their benevolence including my parents, wife, close family members and friends. We should actively do the following and world would be a kinder place:

1. Say thank you often
2. Compliment people
3. If someone shares his / her dream with you, show enthusiasm.
4. Regularly tell the people you love, that you love them.
5. Always reply to messages
6. When you read a new book, share your learning with at least one more person
7. Always share your food, if you are not eating alone
8. Smile and laugh as often as possible
9. If you promise to meet someone, meet. Don't ditch them.
10. Wish people on their birthdays

I am sure, I have missed out lot of things in the list. Be kind and add.

My last year's challenge post from letter K was about an incident at Kipps Bakery. Read it here

My theme for this year's #AtoZchallenge is all about writing stories, anecdotes and observations from my life in form of easy to read listicles. You can read the theme reveal post here


Anonymous said...

Very rightly said. This really applies to everyone of us in our real lives. If everyone is kind to each other then I guess there would no be any prob.

Charan Deep Singh said...

Yes ish 🙂