It’s apt that at an occasion expressly meant to celebrate kindness and graciousness, I also had the unexpected pleasure of experiencing it for myself.

My parents and I were guests at the Singapore Kindness Movement’s annual Kindness Day event last Saturday (May 25) afternoon. When it was time for us to head home, I found that my mobile phone battery had run out; it also felt unusually hot to the touch. As a result, I was unable to book a Grab for us.

Thankfully, one of the vendors at the event, who I later learnt was Mr Anand Nair (above, in red) from corporate team building organisation Asian Detours, saw us struggling and used his own mobile phone to book us a ride.

I could see that he was busy, yet he unhesitatingly took time out to help us. We left shortly after thanking him, as we did not want to hold him up any further.

It was only when we arrived at our destination that we realised he had actually used his credit card to pay for our ride. We were deeply touched and a little surprised, too. My parents felt very uncomfortable, especially since we did not manage to get his name at the time to thank him.

So, right after sending my boys for their singing lessons, I returned to the event about 30 minutes later with $14 to pay him for our ride. He was shocked to see me with the cash. That was when he told me that he’d willingly paid for our ride, like he would for his own parents.

Mr Anand did not want to accept the cash at all, and insisted that we donate it to a good cause, to someone in need, or even drop it in a temple’s alms box. I replied, telling him to do so on our behalf and left, feeling like we’ve had ourselves a wonderful and meaningful day.

So, kudos to you, Singapore Kindness Movement, for organising an impressive, well-executed event – even your vendors and the people manning the booths are a reflection of the values you stand for.

Mr Anand, your kind gesture has warmed our hearts, and we hope that in paying it forward, someone else will now get to experience kindness, too.

Ramanathan Thurairajoo

Founder of Enviro Peace

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