Like many other Singaporeans, I usually take a morning stroll with my walking partner at the nearby park — to put myself at ease before the day starts.

During these morning walks, I often noticed elderly cleaners at the Kallang Wave area — they often did the difficult work, which gave me a sense of empathy for them.

So one day, when my partner could not make it, I decided to do something for the cleaners, to add some purpose to the walk.

I decided to take some spare packets of Milo and biscuits along to give to them.

So along the walk, I went up to every cleaner I saw and wished them a “good morning”  before giving them the Milo and biscuits.

Inspiration

I’ve always been inspired to do such acts of kindness, since I manage an initiative that offers pro bono consultancy work linking philanthropists and volunteers on social projects in Singapore and India.

But I’m also more sensitive to those who show commitment and hard work — particularly during this pandemic, where it has been tough for everyone over the last 1.5 years.

I thought this would be a good opportunity to do something to express my appreciation to the efforts of cleaners — because they are always committed to keep our environment clean, whether rain or shine.

Doing something thoughtful for the cleaners is my way of spreading my kindness to them.

Future plans

I am also thankful that my family feels the same way as me towards our cleaners — in fact, my two kids are equally motivated, and are keen to participate in giving out these supplies.

When I told my friends what I did, they also helped to contribute by providing bags of Milo and biscuits — which allows me to take turns to give these snacks out to cleaners across the island.

Why random acts of kindness is so important

Personally, I feel that more Singaporeans can show such random acts of kindness. In fact, I feel like most citizens have it in themselves to do these actions, but they just need ideas and suggestions on how to make it work.

This is even more important during these uncertain times, as it’s easy for one to get caught up in the negativity and sadness amidst the Covid pandemic.

Therefore, we should always find different ways to brighten someone else’s day, as well as our own.

Even something that might seem small such as giving Milo and biscuits to cleaners, or showing concern for our friends around us — they can actually go a long way.

The act of giving is not about ourselves. It is more important to be mindful of the receiver’s dignity while showing appreciation for those who need a helping hand in our community.

Ramya Nageswaran

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Top Image: Nixon Ong, Ramya Nageswaran