Today , I had to meet my parents to pick up some stuff from them, before I went on a trip with my friends.  I usually meet my parents every weekend but since I was unwell I didn’t want to take any chances, so I told them that I would meet them half way to save time for either of us. My parents love to eat sweets and so on the way, I stopped by my dad’s favorite sweetmeat shop. I parked my car by the curb and went inside to buy his favorite stuff. I also got some Moti choor laddoos for my son – a small pack of 1/2 kg. While the person was packing this for me , I noticed some women who help clean our streets come by and ask for some water at this shop. They just sat by the curb and waited. They were tired and still had more work to do. Since the shop guy was busy packing the sweets for me, he was not able to give them water, although I would have liked it if he had taken care of them before helping me. My mind didn’t think twice before deciding to give the ladies a box of sweets – so I took the box kept for me and handed it over to one of the ladies and said “Akka – please have this”. I feel very grateful that I have a decent job and I am in a financially decent position. Sometimes even if you have a lot of money it is never enough – but I genuinely feel I have more than most other people and I can share a small part of it. So, yea the lady took the box and gave me such a beautiful smile – she was totally not expecting it. I just smiled and rushed back the store to pick up my stuff and pay ! But you know what the hardest part was – as I returned back to the shop, the lady at the cashier’s desk stared at me – I think she was taken aback and was wondering what I was trying to do. This gave me a little churn in my stomach – suddenly I was a little perturbed thinking that may be sharing and showing kindness was such a big deal and such a rarity – that people are surprised that such things existed. Why did I feel some kind of fear ? Was the cashier lady judging me ? Did she think I was trying to show off ? I don’t know, or I guess it should not really matter.

Sharing and showing kindness was easy for me, but when people look at me like that I am not sure how to react. We need to make kindness and sharing a norm so that people are not surprised. The more we do such random acts of kindness and not worry about being judged , we will probably change the world for the better.

After paying the surprised cashier, I walked out of the store. The lovely ladies thanked me for the sweets and I left with a smile. They also had a few sips of water by then!

As a corollary to this – I was wondering what would have happened if the lady had not accepted the box of sweets and told me that she didn’t want charity ? – Something to ponder over !

Pay Anything You Like

Hamsa Gayathri

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