Our food for thought this weekend is a short story of inspiration, how a small act of kindness can make an impact in one’s life.
I remember the chilly wind, the kind that makes you stretch out your sweater sleeves to cover the rest of your hands. I believe it was December because I recall seeing people outside their houses decorating for Christmas.
With my backpack on my back, I was riding my bike on my way to school, my hands freezing to the point where I could not feel the tip of my fingers. I could feel the wind hitting my face as I pedaled faster. My hands were gone, I did not know exactly what was holding the handles of the bike or whatever force moved it to the right direction. My nose and my ears were the next parts of my body to disappear. I was breathing fast but every time I inhaled, it felt like drowning. I clutched the handles hard to feel it in my grip as the houses on both sides of the street slid past me. The road was long, and bumpy but I knew better to just look straight ahead.
I was listening to music through my earphones coming from my music player, I would play the same songs every time and I knew that it took me twelve songs to get to school. I was counting how many had played since I left home when I heard a faint sound, I quickly pulled the earphones out of my ear and let my right foot drag the pavement to a sudden halt.
“Hey” I heard it loud and clear this time. I looked around and spotted an old woman approaching me. I was very shy then and I could barely speak English, so I was startled and nervous. I had started to wonder why I had stopped in the first place. As the lady got closer, I started to wonder what I had done wrong. “Hey, little girl, wait there. Just a second” she was trying to walk as fast as she could, she was an old lady, she was wearing white slippers and a robe. I noticed that she was holding something else, but I could not tell what it was.
She bent down to catch her breath and when she looked up, she held out her hand, “this is for you.” I was puzzled but I took it, it was a pair of gloves the color of the morning sky. “I see you every morning and I have been meaning to give you this.” I managed to mutter out a “thank you,” the old lady nodded and walked back to her house. I slid my hands in the gloves and immediately I felt as my icy rock hands came back to life.
From that day on, I wore my gloves to keep my hands warm and every time I passed by the house of the old lady I would smile. I was grateful to her, she did more than to warm my hands, she warmed my heart.
There are so many kind people, angels that are always willing to help others without giving it a second thought. Like the lady that gave me her umbrella because she saw me soaked with rain as I was walking home from school. Even though I shook my head and told her that she needed the umbrella too. After that day I tried to remember what she looked like, but I would not remember. I knew she was tall because it was hard to look at her face through the rain.
Or that time a man knocked on my dad’s car window and gave him the money that he had earned for that day working at a grocery and liquor store so that my dad could get a hotel room. My dad tells us that story all the time, it was when he had just arrived in the United States and could not afford to rent a place so he slept in his car and one day a man knocked on his window and told him “this is my earning for the whole day but you need it more than I do.”
In this world filled with havoc, kindness flashes a bright light of hope. I have come a long way and through my journey generous people have been there for me, they lent me a helping hand and stood me on my feet when I was on the ground helpless. I am eternally grateful for them, and the lessons they taught me. I can show my gratitude by passing it on.