Recently I have been motivated by stories of people supporting each other during this difficult time. Artists and performers are doing charity concerts or shows to raise money for health workers. As for me, I enjoy reading or hearing about ordinary people doing extraordinary things to help others who have a problem. In the UK, a retired army veteran Captain Tom Moore who is 99 years old years old did an amazing thing. He walked around his garden to raise money for the National Health Service(NHS) to fight COVID-19. Usually, he uses a walker so this was a big challenge for his physical condition and age. Many people heard about this and were very supportive and he raised almost 18 million pounds!In Japan, many people are being supportive of each other too. For example, a young girl, Hime Takimoto who is 13 years old from Yamanashi Prefecture used almost 80,000 Yen from her pocket money to make washable masks for elderly people, orphans and other people who have a shortage. Imagine that! She could have used her money to buy comics or clothes or anything that teenage girls love, but she decided to do this act of kindness.In this week’s blog, I also want to share stories of my personal experiences with kindness from people whom I didn’t know. I call these people “everyday heroes”.
I was getting off a flight in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa Airport. I was carrying a big bag and a shoulder bag while walking up the stairs. Suddenly my shoulder strap broke and my bag went tumbling down the stairs. Many people were going up the stairs. It was so hard for me to go back down the stairs but a stranger told me to wait there and he would bring the bag for me. I was touched by this thoughtful gesture!
Another story when I experienced kindness is last year when I got lost in Kobe . I was looking for the bus station for the night bus. Many people didn’t know how to explain to me because of the language difference. Then I asked a smartly dressed young lady. She was going home from work. This young lady didn’t speak English but she was ready to help! Instead of giving me directions, she decided to take me to the bus station! I was surprised because she was young and maybe had plans but she changed her plans to help a foreign stranger. She took me to the bus station and we had dinner together while waiting for my bus. She was my guardian angel, I think. We spent almost 3 hours together having a conversation using Google translate. Thank God for technology!
So it is not hard to be a hero actually. A small act of kindness you do today for someone will always be in their mind forever. When we act kindly we can change the world in a big way for someone. Right now, there is so much chaos, uncertainty and fear, but human kindness is like a candle of hope during this difficult time. Try a little kindness, you can be a hero too and change someone’s life forever.