Most people dedicate their thanks to God or spirits. As I believe in neither, this thankful note is to a kid who through his act of random kindness left an indelible mark in my memory and conscience. I request those reading this note not to expect the regular dose of puerile sarcasm or cynicism.

These are stranded episodes in my life which I still recollect with a sense of gratitude, an emotion which I often confuse with naivety in this dog-eat-dog world. I will limit myself to three random acts of kindness which left an indelible mark in my memory.

I was in my second grade and as usual I used to pick up fights with lot of kids around. I was badly in need of a hobby. I once saw fourth graders play with match stick boxes, they used to make all kinds of fun stuff with that, like cascading them to make cars or make play toy phones (which worked better than Vodafone or AT&T). And also it was a way of warming up to other kids. So I used to hang out outside this teashop where people would smoke and leave the empty matchboxes on the bench.

There used to be a kid a few years elder to me who used to work at this shop as an apprentice I presume. Soon enough he observed me frequenting the place and gave me a stack of the empty match boxes. Slowly I befriended him and his friends and learnt how to make match box phones and other toys. Later even the shop keeper remembered to keep a few match boxes for me whenever I passed by.

Sometimes when there weren’t enough empty matchboxes sold he would give me a candy or two to appease me. I took them and the collected match boxes to play with me and that is how I bought my way into my first group of friends. I don’t remember the kid nor the friends I made in that rainy monsoon.

Thankfulness is a retrospective feeling which I recollect while doing the most mundane of things, like cleaning a vase or writing my assignment or something else. One random act of kindness is all the world needs to allay wandering souls. Like Carpenters sang, “All the world needs is love”.

Be nice to strangers, don’t be petrified by unfamiliarity. For familiarity breeds contempt! 🙂

Peace Love Empathy

– Written by Guest Writer, Dhanesh Gandhi, as a lead-up to this blog’s 3rd Blogoversary.

One thought on “Thankfulness

  1. Did you finish this in a hurry? I was looking forward to more. I agree with you though..

    We are accustomed to thanking completely underserving entities (or even imaginary ones like God) like our bosses when we get a promotion. However, we seldom thank those who genuinely deserve it. Especially if they are not important people or if they are poor. I have rarely seen someone thank a boot polisher or a porter or a cab driver or a maid or the door keeper at a big hotel who opens the door for us. It is not as if they make a world of a difference to our life, but when they come in contact with us, they become a part of it. Nothing will make them happier than a small “thank you”, and nothing will bring us more joy than to see the smile that appears on their face when we say that. If not for anything else, then for this, they deserve our thanks.

    When I read your post, I was reminded of a small extract about the tremendous power of spreading good cheer by using kind words, by Art Buchwald when I was in school. It was thrilling for me to find that it actually worked! I started thanking the bus conductor and driver and got favorable responses and also the watchman when he opened the gate for me. Now that watchman smiles at me every morning and starts off my day with healthy cheer!

    Thankfulness is not charity, because we get more joy than we give!


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