November 19, 2020 / Source: The Bizz USA
By Janet Reddy; Edited by Pallavi Vemuri and Haarika Kalahasti
With everything currently going on around the world, it seems judicious to touch on another topic to try and help distract from the daily perturbing headlines we have recently grown accustomed to.
Straight after school on a late-January afternoon, my friends and I headed over to a nearby shopping center to make use of the food court and commemorate one of our birthdays. When we arrived, we got a table at one of the many food outlets, hurriedly put our school bags down, and then went to go buy ourselves drinks and explore the menus of the other many restaurants.
Despite the limited seating, we managed to get a table big enough to fit all six of us and our school bags, as the food outlet we had chosen was mostly unoccupied apart from a young couple at one table chatting away and an elderly lady at another enjoying her sandwich along with a smoothie. Still recovering from a cold, I volunteered to stay back and watch everyone’s bags as I had already decided against buying food for myself. They took up a great amount of time just deciding what they wanted before even placing an order.
Finally, one by one they each returned. When we all were back at the table, we bought a slice of cake with the money each of us had contributed earlier that day. Everyone, including the staff of this deserted restaurant joined us in singing happy birthday and it truly was a special moment for all of us.
After this, while that one rather large slice of cake was being passed around the table so we could all have a bite, I noticed that the elderly sandwich lady from earlier had signaled over one of the waiters and was talking to her while looking over at our table. I am not going to lie, but at that point most of us silently thought she was complaining about the amount of noise we were all making with our chit chat. All of a sudden, another waiter walks over to her table. The tension silently increases at ours.
Then, both waiters walked up to me and I felt as though my worst nightmare was coming true. Instead, to my surprise, they told me that she would like to buy me any drink that I wanted from the menu. I briefly glance over my friends and see the look of relief mixed with surprise plastered on their faces. This anomalous gesture had caught all of us off guard. I look to the elderly lady and give her the most genuine smile I probably have ever shown my life. I turned back to the waiter and politely declined this greatly generous offer. She asks me if I’m sure and I confirm that I am positive with my decision, then she leaves my friends and I alone. The smile that had fixed itself upon my face seemed to remain till my head hit the pillow that night, where I distinctly remember falling asleep with a feeling of somewhat delectation and gratification. To this day, that feeling remains hard to put into words.
This wonderfully kind lady touched my heart, something that never has happened to me before. It was a new profound feeling that I still have trouble describing to this day. There still are good people out there in the world and it warms my heart dearly.
During times like this, it can be especially hard to help people when we all are struggling or beginning to struggle with absolutely no idea of what the future holds for us. It is important to help people whenever and in whatever way we can, even if it just is a simple check in on a loved one. These gestures will go a long way and most probably will be doing much more to the person you are helping than you can ever imagine.
So, pick up the phone, share your groceries with your neighbors whose cupboards are empty (if you have a little extra), and smile at passersby on the street. Whatever energy you put into this world will radiate right back at you, so invest time, energy and resources into things that are beneficial to you and those around you, the society and this planet.