This is the reason why I love talking to strangers.
We often judge people for what they do, rather than who they are.
This particular picture spoke to me because, I’ve met this lady at the lobby of IMH one day, and we were both waiting for the non-existent cabs at the taxi stand. Me, being me, I turned to her and asked, “So, how’s your day?”. And only then, I found out that she had just been discharged after being warded for 2 months, and spending 1 month in rehab. I was taken aback. Wow. I’ve been volunteering at IMH for 2 years now, and I’ve never seen someone who’s as young and as eloquent as her. She went on to tell me that she fell into depression after a fight with her husband, and attempted suicide. She was admitted with her 2 children at home, and she was glad that she got discharged the day before her oldest child attended primary school. That sparkle in her eyes, and the hint of excitement in her voice, brought a smile to my face. We went on to talk about her future plans before a cab finally came, and before boarding the cab, she said, thanks for reminding me what I have to live for. Me, being me, again. I didn’t know how to react and I gave her an awkward smile and waved, as the story about her life overwhelmed me in waves.
Oh, did I just do a good deed without doing anything? , I thought to myself. Damn. WOW. What the hell just happened.
This incident taught me that some times, someone out there might just need a listening ear. We never know what anyone is going through because behind every smile, there could be pain. After all, we don’t always portray our real selves out in the public, do we? We are often too quick to judge, yet it’s only human for us to do so. Because, there isn’t always time or a purpose for us to try to get to know everyone we see on the streets.
Yet, every once in a while, try to take a break from your hectic lives, smile at strangers, ask them about their day; because you never know when you would meet someone who just needs a smile from you to make them feel better. Greet the bus driver with a “have a nice day” before alighting, tell that to the cashier at the check out counter, tell that to the janitor clearing your trays at McDonalds, just a small gesture from you, could potentially make someone’s day. Be that change, because happiness is contagious. You never know when this small gesture would come a full circle when you need it most.
Take some time out from your day, spread your positivity and remind yourself to not be too quick to judge, because everyone has a story to tell.
Because everyone has a story to tell.