There is something special about being in a new place. It goes beyond being in the place itself to the feeling that your life can change at any given moment. That something magical can happen at any time. This is why people love to travel.
The moment we step out of our zones, the places that we are familiar with, we feel different. We become more vibrant and I guess we see more beauty in things, even small things sometimes. Having said that, it doesn’t mean that change is always good, but I think it’s always worth it.
For about a year I lived in Busan city, then I moved to Daejeon for my university. And now I am in Seoul, capital of South Korea. My journey hasn’t been easy. Life can never be easy I know that. I’ve came across pain and struggle throughout. It has been a very difficult journey sometimes, but if I have realized one thing so far in my life, that is life is not just about days or weeks or months, sometimes it’s just about collecting moments. Yes, there are days that nothing makes sense to me. But, then there are days when I see magic in little and big things alike. It’s all about perspective. How I look at the world and where I see beauty and happiness. I am collecting moments everyday. I know some moments will stay with me forever.
So I want to share with you one of my special moments. Here is what happened today…
I was coming out of Subway to meet my friend when I met a beggar barely able to move, with torn clothes and a small backpack. At the beginning I didn’t know if the beggar was a man or a woman, but looking at her I assumed that she was a male. Now, about a month ago, I promised myself that I will buy meals to two very needy people I meet. When I saw her, she was trying to wear her clothes, and honestly, she was barely able to do that. I really wanted to go to her and help her, but I couldn’t. I was scared and hesitant. I think I was scared that she might refuse my help. So I walked close to her, but as hard as I tried, I couldn’t ask her if she needed any help. So I stepped back and walked away. But, pretending that I didn’t see her was so difficult, so I thought, “you know what Ashna, just try. Go and buy her a meal if you can’t help her with dressing, you can do that”. So I went to the nearest restaurant and bought a meal and I went back to her again. This time with a smile. She was done wearing her Pygama. I said, “Ajusshi, please eat this” in Korean, then she looked at me and I realized, she was a woman after all, a very old woman, not an Ajusshi (Ajusshi in Korean is used when referred to an old man). When she took the food, she gave me a big smile and thanked me in a broken English.
I cannot tell you how happy this made me. This could mean nothing to many, but it meant the world to me and I am positive it meant a lot to this old woman too. I was able today to make someone smile. And not just anyone, but someone who needed some attention and care. She probably was sitting there for hours for someone to show her a little kindness and make her feel that she is not forgotten and she is not alone in a city where everyone is hustling and busy living their lives.
My aim in sharing this story is not to tell you how good I am. I don’t need to tell you that. Neither do I want to publicize a small act of kindness. But, I do want to share this story in hope that it will inspire someone else somewhere to do something similar. I do want to inspire someone to show kindness next time to anyone who needs attention and kindness.
Because, you know what? It’s true. A small act of kindness goes a long way. You never know if you have changed someone’s life by showing them kindness and helping them when they least expect it. And I hope. I really do hope, I have touched this woman’s heart tonight.