It certainly doesn’t feel like 3 days till Christmas. I can’t wait for a week dedicated to Christmas carols, Christmas movies, eating way too much, having a few drinks and most importantly quality time and memory making with family and friends. It’s a precious time of the year.
Seeing that Christmas is ultimately about the spirit of giving, I’d like to share a story. Earlier this week I found myself in the middle of an overcrowded, bustling city, finishing up on some last minute Christmas shopping. I decided to jump onto a crowded tram to make my way home and as I approached the tram, I noticed an elderly man hunched over trying to scramble to get on the tram. He was hunched over I’m guessing because he suffers from severe arthritis? I can’t be sure.
As he tried to scramble for the tram, he walked into the pathway of a cyclist and though the cyclist was alert and saw him, they narrowly avoided a collision. I could tell that the cyclist was annoyed as he shook his head and muttered something un-Christmas like under his breath.
When I got on the tram, it was crowded and I saw that the elderly man had managed to get a seat. Thankfully. As the crowd pushed me along, I ended up standing right near the man. He saw me and immediately offered me his seat. I assured him that I was fine and that I was getting off at the next stop anyway. I told him to keep his seat. Stubbornly he offered his seat to another lady standing near us and she took it, also after much reluctance.
As the man stood up, the tram stopped suddenly and most of us were jerked forward and he lost balance and fell onto me. Luckily he managed to grab on to something to steady himself whilst I helped prop him up too. He was extremely embarrassed and apologetic. I assured him I was fine and that it was no big deal. Over the next minute, he continued to apologise and asked if he had hurt me in any way. I smiled the warmest smile I could smile and continued to assure him that I was completely fine.
As I waited to get off at the next stop, I looked at this man. Here he was old in age – I’m guessing he would’ve been in his eighties – with troubles of his own obviously as his back just did not look good, and he was still so kind as to offer his seat to someone more than capable of standing up for a couple of minutes. I looked into his eyes and I saw a kindness and sweetness that I’d never seen before in anyone. But, I also saw sadness. I couldn’t shake the sadness I saw and it in turn broke my heart.
This man made me think about life. Life is so precious. I am so lucky to be here. I am so lucky to have what I have – my job, my health, my family and friends, my possessions. Whatever it may be, I am so freaking lucky. I am trying to practice gratefulness in everything that I do on a daily basis. Because it is so easy to forget. I am trying to see kindness in everything. To be kind to everyone even to those who may not deserve my kindness. To see the good in things. To see the good in people.
I hope you all have a merry, merry Christmas and a spectacular new year. Stay safe.