Not too long ago I was on a train and was sat opposite a lady who ordered a tea from the trolley. She was on crutches and asked the man who served her whether there was a bin close by because she knew it would be a struggle to get off of the train with a cup in her hand. As well as having crutches to worry about, she also had a few bits and bobs to carry and it was pretty clear it would be a struggle anyway. I offered to take the cup off of hands when she'd finished with it. My offer wasn't extraordinary and it most certainly didn't impact my life at all- I sacrificed nothing. She knew that but she thanked me in the loveliest way all the same! She told me it was a lovely offer and I told her I was happy to help, because I was! So when she finished her tea and got up to leave at her stop, she handed me her cup, we wished each other well, and when I left I binned it- and that was that!
What I did, I am fully aware, was nothing incredible but it was an act of decentness- a decentness I know so many people have and one I really believe should be human nature. The world is so sad and so vile so often that we need these little acts of kindness to happen because who didn't win in this situation? My life was not affected and I made life that bit easier for this lady- like so many people would! I've always been taught to do things like this because I've always watched my dad step in or offer to step in if someone's struggling and also because of strangers I see being awesome. For example, I've often seen mothers on public transport with their baby in one arm and a pram in the other. From a distance I always see help being offered and it makes me so thankful for these little bits of kindness that help others muddle on through!
I can't think of anything off of the top of my head but a few times before I've so regretted not stepping in. It might be because I couldn't work out whether someone needed a little bit of help or whether I was just making a fool of myself- and you know what: Who cares?! You might just help someone out! And you're also helping yourself out by limiting the chances of feeling guilty afterwards.
Another time on the train I was sat at one of those tables with four seats around them and someone sat opposite me stood up and made their way down the aisle at a very busy stop. It was packed. As I looked back at the table I noticed there was a phone with no owner. I turned to the man sat next to where the lady that got up and checked that it wasn't his. He said, "No, it was that lady's." The lady that got up and was a while away by then. After being momentarily astonished at his lack of interest or attempt to help the situation, I got someone's attention in the very long traffic jam of people. I could see the lady at the other end of the train. I picked up the phone and said, "This is someone's who is down there; please pass it along and let everyone know!" I watched this phone easily go from one end of the train to the other and the lady shouted back the most grateful thanks. And that was that!
Can you imagine if that lady didn't realise before getting off the train and how that would have affected her day? It cost me nothing to pretty much do nothing to get that phone back to her. I'm no saint, but I restored a little bit of faith back into humanity after the uninterested man made me question humanity at his lack of effort. And we all need to make sure we're doing these little things to help each other out.
An Act & A Smile,
The Girl in the Moonlight.