Monday, May 14, 2018

A rare act of kindness

The other day I was in the metro train, travelling to my work place.

At one station, a young man, dressed in formal wear, might be in his mid-twenties, ran in, and managed to board the train just before the door closed. The train wasn't crowded, but there were no vacant seats. He stood in front of where I was sitting.

He was breathing rather heavily, indicating that he might have been walking briskly, and had run up the escalator. Obviously, it looked like he was rushing to some place, on some urgent business, and didn't have time to wait ten minutes for the next train.

Then, a very strange spectacle unfolded before my eyes.

An elderly man, who was sitting beside me, and probably in his early 60s, got up, and vacated the seat for the young man. Gesturing him to take the seat, the elderly man told the young man: "Please sit down. You need some rest."

The young man, was taken by surprise, and didn't seem to understand what the elderly man was saying. Quite natural. People vacating seat for someone itself is rare. And rarer still is an elderly man vacating seat for a young man.

Once he understood, the young man said with a smile, "Thank you.. But, no sir ... You please sit." He then placed his right hand on the shoulder of the elderly man and nudged him gently to sit down. Like me, he too must have been wondering, why this elderly man was vacating his seat for him.

By now, this unusual incident had caught the attention of a few other passengers too, who were all curiously looking at the two men, each seemingly trying to be more polite than the other.

Then came a surprise.

The elderly man said, calmly but firmly, in a manner that was measured, and quite laden with a sort of wisdom that only years of lessons in life would give anyone.

"Listen, young man, I appreciate your respect for me. There was a time when I worked like you, running from place to place... Now my time is over. It's your turn now ... Please sit, and relax, so that you regain energy for your work... Good luck, and do well."

I couldn't believe what was happening.

The elderly man slowly moved away from the seat, turned, and gently nudged the young man towards the seat, almost forcing him to sit down.

"Please, please, sit ... I will be getting off at the station after the next one. It's fine ..." He smiled, and a look of total contentment seemed to illuminate his face.

The young man had clearly been outdone; didn't know what to say, and sat down in the place the elderly man had vacated. He looked up at the elderly man, and brought his palms together in a gesture of reverence, and just said, "Thank you, sir."

The train was approaching the next station, where I had to get off. I got up and moved to the exit.

That elderly man's gesture and profound words will never fade from my memory.

I have no clue who that elderly man was.

But surely, he is a very rare human being.

40 comments:

  1. That truly was a rare act of kindness..we rarely come across such people these days. Wish there were more of them :-)

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    1. Yes, Renu. Hopefully we will have more of such people. Thanks for your comment. :-)

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  2. That elderly person was awesome. We all should learn from such people's behavior and experience.

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    1. That elderly man was not able to relate to that young man, but also able to do something for that young man. Amazing. Thanks, SG.

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  3. A touching gesture that is hard to come by these days.

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    1. Yes, KP. Rarely we see such gestures. Thanks. :-)

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  4. What a wonderful example of warmth and human kindness - that older man has left an indelible impression on the younger one. I hope that act of kindness and compassion inspires others who saw it to think about how they can make a difference too.
    Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au

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    1. Such people, who are sensitive to other people and do something proactive, make all the difference to our community.

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    2. Hi Pradeep - I'm so glad you linked up with us at #MLSTL - this was a great addition to our party and I've shared it on my social media - hope to see you again next week!

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    3. Hi Leanne, Thank you. Hope to link up in the coming weeks too.

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  5. How nice. There are good people in this world.

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    1. It's not all that bad out there. May be few in number, but there are good people. Thanks, Liz.

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  6. What a beautiful story, wonderfully told. It's amazing how witnessing acts like this one can really brighten your day.

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    1. Yes, of course, that had such a positive effect Thanks a lot,

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  7. What a lovely story. Thanks for sharing, Pradeep.

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  8. So good to hear something positive. Its refreshing to see this form of humanity and kindness in todays day and age!

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  9. Genuinely touched by this true story. Such stirust we need more and more. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thank you, Murali, for dropping by and for your comments.

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  11. The act and your blog made my day...thank you.
    May you witness many more such acts....

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  12. A small communication breaking all barriers, mostly unspoken, but did wonders for all incl bystanders. That's life.

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    1. Yes. Sometimes such simple gestures go a long long way. Thanks, Ramachandran for the comment.

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  13. Just like freshener sprinkled in stinky area because such act of kindness is becoming rarer and rarer now a days.Nice.

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    1. Very true. Thanks, Rudra for visiting my blog and for the comment.

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  14. Hi Pradeep - thanks so much for coming over and commenting on Xylem. This post - is a remarkable story isn't it ... and would do so well in a blogfest I participate in #WATWB .. my last one was after my Z post - where we post 'happy' stories ... some local, some relevant to a country or continent ...

    Damyanti organises it ... http://www.damyantiwrites.com/ it's on the last Friday of the month ...

    This is a delightful post ... I've been offered seats on the tube - but refused them ... as if I've been to London for an event - I've spent a lot of time sitting ... and will sit on the journey home to the south coast - then I don't need to sit ... so people are somewhat surprised I refuse the seat - grateful to be offered it, also not as decrepit as I might appear!!!

    This is a lovely story ... I'm off to read more and will put you into my Feedly - cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi Hilary, Thanks for introducing me to WATWB. Shall connect with Damayanti and join the blogfest.

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  15. What a beautiful story and I wish that more people in the world could show the kindness that this gentleman did. Thank you for sharing with us at Midlife Share the Love party and have a beautiful week. xx
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

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    1. Thank you, Sue for dropping by. Hopefully we see more such people more often.

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  16. This was a beautiful example of human kindness something we should all practice more often.

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    1. Thanks, Victoria, for dropping by. Hopefully we get to see more such people.

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  17. May this incident trigger the young man to pass the wisdom of kindness to fellow beings and these act of caring spread like a chain reaction.

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    1. Thanks a lot, Ajith for dropping by.
      Yes, let us hope that we get to see more such people more often.

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  18. A well told story. While most see a kind gesture I feel the story is deeper. The old man was not only being kind but also teaching by experiance. The young man is caught up in the rush of life going from one thing to the next, one task to the next. Hardly thinking of the in between. But life is a collection of moments. Some are in the past as memories while others are in the future as hopes. The only one we can act upon is this moment. Taking time to experiance this moment is so overlooked and yet so vitaly important.
    Thank you for the story. It was well written. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you, so much, Joseph, for this wonderful insight. You have put it very nicely.

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  19. Touching experience. Thanks for sharing!

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