Recently I was standing outside a mall waiting for my ride to get home when I noticed this elderly couple who I thought was trying to cross the road. They would walk right in middle of the road which was experiencing a mad traffic rush and would return back to the pavement looking disheartened. The elderly gentleman was trembling and the woman holding on to his shoulder was carrying a grocery bag in the other hand.
I walked up to them and offered help when I realized that they were infact looking for a rickshaw. If you stay in Mumbai you would know that getting a rickshaw at a peak traffic time for short distance is an arduous task. My next few minutes went in pleading, threatening and arguing with atleast 10 rickshaw drivers when finally one person agreed. God Bless him!! The couple happily bid their goodbyes to me from the rickshaw and I felt a sense of achievement. I had volunteered!
Lot of people I talk to often express the desire to volunteer. They have the willingness to do something but cannot make time to take on formal assignments. So here is my bit to solve this problem. Each one of us can do random acts of kindness without disturbing our routine. Here is a handy list that can help anyone to do small acts of kindness
- Give a lift : Its getting more and more difficult to find rickshaw’s and taxi’s these days and you will see so many of them plying with single passengers. You can always offer someone to ride with you and ask them to do the same in future.
- Offer your seat: If you are blessed with good health offer your seat to someone who really needs it. You will always find tired faces with heavy laptop bags, women with children, elderly people who would need the seat more than you. So go on show some chivalry!
- Connect people: The simplest act ever! There is always someone or the other in need of getting connected to someone – a future employer, a vendor or even a potential life partner. Don’t hesitate to introduce or connect. You never know how it might help.
- Treat manual laborers more kindly: Offer water/tea to electricians, plumbers, courier guys who would visit your house. They have demanding schedules and strenuous jobs.
- School books: Our kids would always have more note books that they will ever fill and then there are those who would write in small handwriting to let the notebooks last longer in schools. These kids are everywhere – in a neighbouring municipal school, creches near construction sites and orphanage’s near your house. Collect and donate these books to children who really need them.
If you look around there are so many opportunities to do little acts that can make someone’s day and yours too.