Acts of kindness can come in many forms. Sometimes it’s grand, and sometimes it’s simpler, but no less meaningful. Some acts of kindness are performed spontaneously, while some are planned.
And in general, acts of kindness usually require one to go out of their way to perform it. More importantly, these acts are almost always appreciated, and rarely forgotten.
And this was evident in a recently-started Reddit thread which saw several Singaporean netizens share their personal accounts of the acts of kindness that had a profound impact on them.
Desperate times call for acts of kindness
In one example, redditor Pseudoninja1 shared how a timely act of kindness by a stranger helped to ensure that he would not be late for his PSLE exams.
He wrote: “I was about to be late for my PSLE oral. I waited 45 mins for the bus but all of them were packed. There were no taxis in sight. My mom didn’t bring along her phone so we had no means to contact the school. I broke down and cried.”
Panicking, Pseudoninja1’s mother decided to knock on the door of a passing stranger’s car that had happened to stop beside them. After learning what had happened, the driver readily agreed to drive Pseudoninja1 and his mother to the school.
“He knew he would be late for work but he still [drove] me to school – [it was] a 15 minute drive and it was out of the way,” Pseudoninja1 recalled.
He added: “We offered to pay him but he declined. I didn’t get to thank the guy as I was a sobbing mess. To that kind stranger who picked me up at Marsiling in Aug 2012, I owe you a thank you!”
Another user, CheeseCakeHaven21, recalled an instance when she felt faint on her way home from work. “I felt like my vision was blurry and fuzzy. I could feel my heart rate lowering,” she wrote. Panicking, she walked to the taxi queue, but kept bumping into the people around her.
“The bits after that were fuzzy but I knew I was being seated down on a plastic chair.” She added that two strangers left to get her an isotonic drink and biscuits. “[I was] touched that strangers around me didn’t hesitate to help me and make sure I was fine. One even called a Grab for me,” she said.
She concluded her post by expressing her gratitude to the people who helped her, as she wrote: “I am truly thankful to the kind people who helped [me] on Feb 2019 at Little India MRT station.”
Another user, Aahfeekiee, recalled how she had spotted three secondary school students from her alma mater studying in a Starbucks outlet during off-peak hours.
She noticed that the students had been asked to vacate their seats, as they had not bought any drinks.
“They quietly discussed amongst themselves…whose house they should be studying at, but they all came from turbulent households – not the most conducive place to study,” she wrote.
Moved by their plight, Aahfeekiee bought the students a hot drink each, so they could stay and study. “They couldn’t decline since it had already been paid for,” she wrote. “They were very grateful.
“I remember having been in a similar position, and [how I would] have really appreciated any help that came my way.”
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever unappreciated
One Redditor, drlqnr, shared that the simple act of having someone share their meal with him still touches him to this day. “Years ago, I was in the canteen, sitting alone, [when] a random teacher came up to me and gave me food that she had bought for me,” he said.
Another user, RobSG, shared that he always made it a point to share his umbrella with others who are caught in the rain, even if he inadvertently gets a little wet himself.
As the Reddit thread has shown, acts of kindness can make a big difference to someone’s day.
A gracious society begins with an individual’s choice to be kinder than they think they are, and being kind to strangers is a simple way for us to Be Greater.
As Dr William Wan, General Secretary of SKM, explains: “Kindness should be purposeful, and become second nature, which is sustainable, and infectious… Every one of us has a responsibility towards building a nation of kindness.”