I was recently at a handbag store and I picked up a brochure for students who are going to travel abroad. It didn’t surprise me to see instructions and general tips like “Count your baggage every time it passes the conveyor belt” and “Make sure your passport and other important documents are safe” but it surprised me to see instructions like “Say Please when asking for help” and “Say thank you loud and clear when somebody helps you”
Didn’t these kids ever have parents who taught them to say please and thank you every time they needed help and/or received it?
Today’s world’s moving at a supersonic speed… I think all of us are moving too fast to enjoy the littler things and stop and be grateful for what we have… I know very well how to grumble at the fact that I don’t own an Xbox360 or how to throw a tantrum to get something I want but I’m just learning how to appreciate the smaller things and the nearly invisible people.
You probably don’t get what I’m saying right now so I think it would be easier to illustrate with an example. I’m not too shy… I can talk to just about anybody and everybody so here goes my first example.
Metro had a 50% sale and I went there with my mom cause I was bored of preparing for my board exams and my shoes were horrid looking (although in MY defence, they’re extremely comfortable) and my mom was obviously not happy with me wearing such ratty shoes but trust me.. I despise shoe shopping.
I found a pair of shoes I liked and I knew they’d fit me out of an impulse but my mom’s all but impulsive so she insisted on me trying them out first. They’re huge platform shoes with a lot of heel… I’m used to wearing mostly flats or sneakers so this was a whole new dimension.
There was a salesman who was helping me put it on and I said “Thank you so much for helping me out, I’m totally new to this stuff” He just smiled. I could tell he thought I was just being nice so I added that I really appreciated it. He simply smiled again. I tried the shoes on and effortlessly managed to walk the ramp around the store and convince my mom that I wouldn’t break both ankles in these shoes. She made me try them on one more time before finalising our purchase.
She made me try them out for the third and (thankfully) the last time but this time I wasn’t sitting so I stumbled while trying them on and my mom threw me a dirty look but nevertheless, she began to rummage through her purse for her credit card but as luck would have it, she had forgotten them at home and I needed to give the shoes up. Now I’d kind of grown to love those shoes so it was a disappointment. My mom promised me to buy them in the evening but I decided to have no expectations as I felt kind of nervous in those shoes anyway. So as I sat alone at home solving every possible sum in my pillow… sorry my R.D.Sharma guide, I got the surprise of my life… My mom came home WITH the shoes.
I was too surprised to speak. I thought she’d keep them away from me for safety reasons. She simply smiled and told me that the salesman told her to go ahead and take a chance and make the purchase.
Another incident actually took place today evening at dinner time. I’d dragged my parents to Ascendas for dinner in McDonalds and Ascendas being a hip and happening place for youngsters and adults and families (obviously) alike and being a Sunday… we had no place to sit and I absolutely despise sharing my table with total strangers for god knows what reason.
When my mom waved me over to a seemingly empty table but I walked over to her carefully balancing my McDonalds tray and my Coke in my hand and I could feel my face drop when I saw that we had to share our table with a girl and a guy that we didn’t know. So I put my tray down, smile politely at the girl and guy and unwrap my burger and start eating it. Lets call the girl Didi. I sit down opposite to her and Didi suddenly gets up when my mom comes and offers my mom her seat.
I just looked at her surprised. That’s the first time in a very long time I’ve seen someone do something like that in a very long time. It’s just something about that gesture that made me respect her so much to the extent that I actually began addressing her as Didi! (I have an older sister who’s related to me by blood and I never called her akka or Didi even once). I later ate my food in silence and thanked her and left but something about that action made me able to build a bond with a complete stranger. The only thing I had in common with her was the table.
Its little things like this, small polite gestures, seemingly insignificant acts of kindness that are capable of making people’s days but as I already mentioned, our world’s moving super fast. We should take a little more time to slow down. A lot of people are seemingly invisible and we have to take more time to acknowledge them. When was the last time you thanked a waiter or the guy who stands by the door from morning to evening without even complaining once when people don’t thank him….