“Adik, nanti boleh tolong bawa mak cik ke entrance tak.”
“Boleh boleh boleh.”
“Pergi station mana? I stop at Shah Alam.”
“Aku juga Shah Alam!”
It was a very nice conversation the both of them had. Warm would be an understatement to describe how it made me feel. As usual, I paid attention and kept listening.
“Pergi ke uni mana?”
“Oh pandai la pergi university.”
And a wide grin appeared on his face, obviously embarrassed by her flattery. Although she was blind and couldn’t see how happy he became, I think the joys of meeting a Samaritan in a crowd of commuters on the train already made her day a lot brighter. All we need is a little kindness to give and to take anyway.
When we all got off at Shah Alam, I went out to look for my dad but he wasn’t there. Knowing that he was on his way, I walked back to the station and sat on the steps. The blind lady was standing on my right, and I wondered who was going to pick her up and send her home. At this point, I wondered where her children were, and why they couldn’t come get her. The possibilities of the answer to this question are endless, but I am not one to judge her life and lament and whine about how ungrateful her children are, like many of the forcefully righteous posts I see on Facebook.
A minute later came the same man walking back to the entrance. Apparently, he had left her to drive his car nearer to the entrance to pick her up.
“Balik rumah ah?”
“Yaaaaa,” and he guided her to his metallic black BMW and they drove away from the station.
The most pathetic thing we do is whine about how this generation is unkind as though the solutions are so out of reach, while it might mean the world to the person beside you if you could do something as simple as holding the door open for someone a second longer.
We have good people around, but we are inclined to focus on the negative. Research has proven this, and to do otherwise is against our instincts, but it’s necessary if we are to practice what we preach and actually be kinder to one another instead of refraining from feeling vulnerable, a common feeling someone experiences before offering an act of kindness.
Being vulnerable is often mistaken as being weak, but I also think it’s more liberating than any other thing (thanks for the article, Karen). Even money. If it’s thought that financial freedom is a problem, then the freedom to express kindness (which requires being vulnerable) is the crux of all social diseases. Without it, all we can be are soulless machines under the guise of a human body – a symbol of what society lacks, not knowing that we are the answer to our own problems.
The man probably knew he was at some risk, made vulnerable by driving to a stranger’s house (although the woman was blind, I can’t deny the tiny possibility of it being part of a scam), but his heart was gold; his conscience, pure, and no intellectual can ever argue against that.