Yesterday, Asha and I organised a TudungProjects Appreciation Picnic. One of the activities required the attendees to give a bar of Toblerone chocolate (wrapped with a ribbon, no less) to someone they felt deserve the act of kindness.
It’s not the most natural thing to do, to go up to a random stranger and present something in hope of making someone’s day.
I mean, we’re used to the idea of being at the receiving end of acts of kindness. We like it when people are nice to us or when we receive gifts. But few really consider the joy of being the one giving.
This reflection then got me to remember that one time in Sevilla.
(Oh yes, my thoughts bring me all over the place. It’s normal.)
I was walking in the park where a fair was taking place. It wasn’t any normal fair, oh no it wasn’t. It was a themed fair.
I was well, just minding my own business, still feeling a bit all over the place from the things happening back home. I was at the receiving end of some mean words and all I wanted to do was walk the hurt away.
It was then when I first noticed a Roman walking in front of me a few metres away from the fair.
Woah. Hang on. What was that?
I was excited when I saw the fair – it was the playground for this history freak!
I was walking around, looking at the cool things on sale and smiling at anyone who meets my eye.
I was determined to be a source of happiness that day, just because.
I knew what it was like to face mean people – I didn’t want to add that piece of negatvity to the world.
As I walked on and gawked at everything around me, an elderly stallholder smiled widely at me. He had such a cute toothy grin!
He gestured for me to approach his stall and with the brightest smiling eyes, handed me a handful of caramelised nuts.
But he said this:
“MashaAllah, subhanaAllah, alhamdulillah.”
All the while with the widest smile and a twinkle in his eye.
I knew then that I was making his day as much as he was making mine.
I knew then too that Allah is always near – He crossed our paths to put a smile on our faces and gratitude in our hearts.
I will always remember that old man’s toothy grin.
So you know… The next time you’re feeling down and out, perhaps consider being the giver of kindness instead.
Lots of love,