Random Acts of Kindness

Street-Hawking

 

In a country like Nigeria where ethnicity, nepotism and tribalism abound, one may be surprised to see kindness as a very uncommon act. This post is dedicated to those whose acts of kindness sometimes go unrewarded.

As I write this post, I’m on a long journey from my office. I stress the word “Long” because my total travel time would be approximately 8 hours, a combination of the journey from my office to my client site and back to my office.

To get a picture of the conditions I was faced with, I’d begin by describing my day to the time of this post.

I slept quite late last night (about past 12 am) and had short sets of sleeps – woke up twice, once at 1:34 am and another at 4:00 am and finally by 5:00 am. Rushed through the morning commuting via public transport to the office. I’d leave out the public transport journey out of this discussion…

Got to office, feeling really sleepy, I had a cup of tea when my manager asked me to conduct a research on something and behold the result was to make this long journey to support a team with some “little challenge”. A challenge which turned out to be a “major challenge”.

By now, you may be wondering where lies the connection between the title of this post – Random Acts of kindness, and my long story. Save your breath. I’m posting this because I was touched by a display of kindness shown to me by a road hawker.

It was a hot, sunny Friday afternoon, I ate lunch sitting in the comfort of a taxi with the AC on, while I embarked on this journey. In case you don’t understand a hot day in Lagos traffic, think of a temperature close to 40 degrees Celsius and here on the high roads of Lagos to Ogun state, along the Ikeja axis, some road hawkers were hustling for daily bread. I had lunch without something to drink. Water was my only option as I love to drink water to stay healthy. A bottle of water costs NGN50 so I stopped the first road hawker but unfortunately, he couldn’t give me my balance because I had NGN1,000 note only. Same with the second, the third and fourth hawker all sweating profusely because of the insolation of the very hot sun.

Out of pity, I said to myself that I’d rather not buy water than watch these men struggle this much. But, nature however has its way of asking for it demands. Having a nice bout of lunch without any liquid to push it down my digestive system would cause me gasping for breath.

Then came my amazement, the fifth road hawker came back to my cab, knocked and when I opened the window, he gave me a bottle of Water and dashed off to the next customer calling his attention. I couldn’t comprehend this act of kindness, as he could as well have demanded I pay but knowing I don’t have any other cash at hand, he gave me that bottle of water…FOR FREE.

I don’t wish to bore you any further with the long hectic day I had but this act of kindness got me thinking and made a stressful day for me a great one.

Here are my lesson take away:

1. Giving money is not the only way to show kindness.

2. To show an act of kindness costs nothing.

3. A drop of kindness daily can heal the world of its so many ills.

4. Never look down on anyone because what goes around comes around.

5. Work hard for your money but don’t make the struggle for money make you less human.

I’d like to read from you. What do you think?

 

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