Kindness of Strangers

I did a good deed for an elderly man on Tuesday. But I’m not just here to brag about this.

He was confused and barely spoke English. I helped him find his way to the train replacement bus, and get off at the right stop, and he was extremely grateful for this simple act.

Because on first glance, the old man looked like he was mentally ill. He was wearing strange clothes, had a limp, and called me “missy”. So creepy, right? But I knew from his face, accent, and attire that he was rcently from Vietnam. And genuinely confused.

I never know what words to use around foreign people, so I nod, smile, and said “you’re welcome”. I waved and said “good luck” as he got off the bus, and he stopped and waved when the bus took off.

When I got off the bus at my stop, a young man (18-19-ish) approached me and said he saw what I did, and really appreciated it. I said, “You saw how grateful he was. Imagine how many people snobbed him off today.”

So, think how many people must have ignored him, because on first glance he looked like a weirdo. He reacted to me as if he won a prize. I didn’t think anyone noticed what I did, so I was surprised when I received thanks from another stranger.

Out of hundreds of people he encountered today, was I the only one who smiled? Let alone step up to help?

Despite having grown up around cliquish Vietnamese kids, the older ones seem like nice, genuine people.

Okay, I think I’ll end my rant there.

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