I have often relied on the kindness of people to help me live and survive in this harsh world. I left home at the age of 18 and having lived in the protective environment of defense community, the civil life came to me as a bit of shock. I never knew that one pays for their gas, house, electricity, medical treatment. One kind officer from armed force put me up in a Bible College so that I learned the act of survival by working, tolerating and earning money. Six months of living there and interacting with a lot of people taught me how to face the world head-on (and no, these 6 months weren't easy).
What happened after I left the Bible College was a series of highs and lows, facing a lot of hardships, battling a lot of obstacles, learning a lot from mistakes to get me where I am today. When I look back on my journey, I know that it was a mere act of kindness and a huge sense of gratitude that kept my sanity alive. And when I look at people, I know that despite all those smiles, they too have a lot of struggles going inside. I was extremely touched by a family living in the slum of Mumbai, who were so poor that they worked in their make-shift house, making beaded necklaces, packing hairclips to barely make ends meet - and have 6 mouths to feed. They took me in for a few months as I was then homeless, being evicted from a rented accommodation for failure to pay. From their extreme living conditions and pure heart, I learnt much, much more. Also, later, when I travelled for my talk shows and holidays, I often found that people with the least help the most. And people who have a lot of money, they do not give. (No judgement here. I speak from experience.)
Now that I have a job which helps meet my basic needs and requirements, I still rely on kindness and generosity. And of course, I haven't forgotten where I came from - all the trials and tribulations that the journey taught and made me - in return, I do give back to the society in ways that I can. Kindness and generosity don't have to be financial. It is much more than the money. It is much more than a favour. It is an act of love, a humanity. It is a spirit of living.
This post is to let everyone know: "Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love." People need it.
(quote attributed to Mother Teresa)