Last month, I lost my International Driving permit.
I had taken it to a lawyer friend for some documentation work and it was only when I returned to my car that I realised that it was gone.
I grew increasingly anxious as I hurriedly went back over my route from the car park to the office. It didn’t help that it started to rain and I became more and more frantic as I searched everywhere.
After 45 minutes of looking around and asking people if they had seen the green document, I decided to tell the station control staff at the nearby Lavender MRT Station control station as well as the security guards at Kitchener Complex in the hopes that someone returned the piece of paper to them. They were nice in helping me deal with my predicament.
Even so, I was frustrated with my carelessness as it is a very important piece of identification.
I also made a police report online after informing my husband who was worried that my driver’s licence may fall in the wrong hands as it has all my personal information on it.
It is uncommon for me to lose things and this experience left me sullen and upset.
A mailbox surprise
A few days later, my husband opened the letterbox and found a small envelope addressed to me.
I opened it and saw my licence. Not only that, it came with a really nice note! I was so surprised that I could only stare at the item in disbelief. My husband was shocked too.
I was so touched and delighted that I started crying!
We tried to look for a name or a contact, but the envelope and note didn’t contain any information from the sender.
That’s when we decided to take a picture and post it online, sharing it with Facebook group Viral Kindness SG in the hope that this message would somehow reach the kind and generous anonymous person who found and returned my precious lost item.
Many would have walked by this small piece of paper and not noticed it. Most of us, even if we found something important, would probably just pass it to the authorities and not take the trouble to send it back ourselves.
This kind person, however, not only bothered to find a suitable envelope with padding to protect the document but even wrote a nice note to go with it!
This to me is a great effort and I am truly grateful.
It seems like there is a lot of bad news these days. Why are negative voices always louder than positive ones?
As a positive psychology practitioner, I believe that having negative emotions is part of life.
With or without this pandemic, being bored, frustrated, stressed, disappointed or uncertain is part and parcel of life. Having negative emotions doesn’t mean life is bad.
However, expressing emotions in an unhealthy manner is bad for those around us and ourselves as well.
Feeling negative emotions does not equate to bad behaviour, just like feeling good does not necessarily translate to good behaviour (although generally when we feel good, we tend to be more patient, forgiving and generous).
We need to learn to distinguish between our emotions and behaviour and develop the skills to manage both.
For example, many of us probably felt disappointment with Team SG’s performance at the Olympic Games. Some of us may have expressed this disappointment by blaming and criticizing the athletes; others showed more empathy.
We share the same emotions, but we don’t express them the same way.
A kind act does not necessarily have to come from feeling kind. A kind act starts with us knowing that our actions and words can affect someone else, and we choose to “do the right thing” no matter how we feel.
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I am sure the kind person who sent my driver licence back to me has their own battles to fight and yet they chose to take time out to do something good for someone else.
Now that small act of kindness has become a story to inspire others — it has certainly inspired me! Good actions, just like bad actions, have ripple effects too. Never ever underestimate the impact of even a small positive act.
To the kind soul who did all these for me, words are not sufficient to express my gratitude. It may be a simple act for you, but it was life-saving for me.
When the envelope arrived, it immediately brightened the dark mood that I was going through. Thank you for blessing me with your kindness, may you be blessed with joy and goodness in life too.