Being kind to someone else in need, how one act of kindness, generates itself, turns into more acts of kindness that gets, passed around, translated…
At the start of summer, the early mornings in Taipei is still a bit cooled, I was wearing a long-sleeve shirt, waiting all on my own, at the bus stop. It was about 6:30, almost no one else was on the streets, and, every now and then, the passing of the cars, broke the silence of the streets.
A homeless man, who looked very dirty, with the torn shirt sleeve shirt came to the bus stop, with a dirty linen bag on him, perhaps, it’d contained, everything he’d owned? He got on the bus as I had, not long thereafter, the bus stopped at the light, the driver suddenly got out of his seat, walked toward the homeless man, told him, “your mask is dirty, you need a brand new one!”, then, handed the man two brand new masks, the homeless man was stunned, didn’t know how to respond, while I was, touched by the driver’s kindness, so, the driver pays attention to all who alighted his bus.
At this time when the pandemic is running high, as everybody was standing in line, trying to get the ration of the quick scan kits, there may be those who don’t even have enough masks to change out of, for most, these masks are use-and-toss, but for the homeless, it’s a precious resource. And, my heart felt heavy up to here, what, can I do?
So I’d, opened up my pack, and, puled out all the spare masks from my bag, and before I got off the bus, I’d, handed all of it to that homeless man, he was thrilled, then, nodded toward me, and I’d, waved goodbye to him, and, silently prayed, that everything will be okay for him.
And so, this is how the bus driver’s kindness toward the homeless man, had generated the thought of kindness in this person, and, this person realized that s/he had more than enough of what s/he was in need of, and, gave it to the homeless man who is lacking in the supplies to protect himself against contracting MERS-CoV.
From the perspectives of the hospital staff members during the outbreaks here, the stories of hope, in times of MERS-CoV outbreak, off of the Front Page Sections, translated…
What do the nurses see, under this current wave of, outbreak? The endless amount of care provisions that they’re, pounded by, we’d gone to work, with our footsteps leaden, not knowing, what sort of a challenge awaits us today.
There were the locals that kept complaining about how their children are running a fever, those who’d come into the E.R. stressed, asking what to do, as their elders’ quick-scan showed positive? The policies by the Central Government is constantly changing, new rules set up, every couple of days, and as we’d received the notices of how something should be done, the following day, it’d, changed. The hotline that got jammed up, the ambiguous memos, we can’t even understand it, as medical professionals let alone for the general public.
Other than my job as a staff member of the E.R., I now also work, as a hotline operator too, bombarded with a ton of questions I can’t even think of the answers to, and, it’d caused those of us, with strong hearts, working in the E.R., slowly, losing our, energies too. And we work every day now, like zombies, and all we can do, is give one another the encouragements, that we are, E.R. staff, that everybody else can fall, but we can’t! That we can, handle this! And yet, one of our nurses was confirmed of contraction, and we are, tighter on personnel every shift, that younger schoolmate of ours, with her fever, cried to apologize, that she can’t, return back to work to help us lighten the load of work, as her coworker, I’d, felt bad for all of us.
As our energies are completely maxed, there were, the stories of warmth that came to me. At scan time, before I got to my post of work, I’d told the members of the public waiting there: if there are those elderly population or foreigners who don’t know how the QR code works, please, everybody, help them out, to fill the forms for them; and, everybody looked toward me, and nodded, and suddenly, I’d felt, so moved! Surely, a lot of those who don’t know how to fill out the forms, can get help from others who were waiting there!
And, there’s one more thing, as I was, getting a ton of quick scan registration, a woman walked up and asked, “Do children have priority in the quick scans?”, I looked at her, and saw no infant, so I’d asked her: “why? What’s happened”, the woman told me, that there is a mom waiting with her infant for a very long time already, can you go check him out first? I’d immediately asked the mother over, and saw that the infant she had in her arms, was a bit, lethargic, and as I’d inquired, I’d learned, that the infant had a positive quick scan result, but she couldn’t get the number tags, and was stressed over what to do, I’d immediately called the E.R. to get someone to offer her assistance, the mom’s worried looks, looked relaxed, and told me thank you; no, you shouldn’t thank me, but the woman who’d found you guys. It’s truly moving to see, that the woman who is also ill, can still find the means to help another out!
And these two incidents had, warmed up the E.R. nurses’ hearts, and this war is continuing onward, and we will, work even harder to provide you all, with the help you need, thank you for giving us the positive energies!
And so, these are stories of hope that’s, in the midst, of this, dark world, and we need to notice these things more, because, these are the easily missed things that can give us the needed boosts, to carry on, because there’s still NO end in sight with this war of MERS-CoV yet!
How her friend’s kindness toward her, touched her very deeply, got her started in helping others in need, because she was helped, offered assistance by her friend from before, translated…
My room and board had been covered by the factory I work in, so I’d, sent my wages, along with my overtime inside the envelope where the boss handed me as a monthly wage packet, straight to Pingdong, helping my mother raise the five younger siblings I have. As I got to marriage age, met someone who was compatible with me, I didn’t have a cent under my name, his family just filed for bankruptcy, the two of us believed, that so long as we work hard together, we will, get more money, and, there’s nothing we can’t, conquer that comes our way.
The man didn’t have the dowries, the woman didn’t have the marriage gifts, and the matchmaker we’d found at the spot. As the wedding date approached, my mother-in-law changed her mind, “without a dressing mirror that the bride marries in, it will bring bad luck to the husband’s families.”, I got angered, and starred crying and telling this to my hiking buddies whom I’d just met as I’d started hiking, and she’d become, ecstatic, “I was just, having troubles, coming up with a wedding present for you, now that I know your need, this had, resolved my troubles, of having to think what I’m getting you for your wedding.” And shortly thereafter, she’d sent the delicate, and costly dressing mirror to my new home.
I’d originally, would rather not marry, and not accepted her gift, but she’d stated to me lightly, “money is nothing, I can give you this gift, and maybe, I will need your help sometime in the future………”, and yet, before I can, repay her back for her, kindness, she’d, immigrated to South America due to the problems of the construction company set up and owned by her older brother, and I’d lost contact with her since.
Due to her blessing, my life after marriage, my work, all of it went, smoothly, and I’d, never forgotten her words, “I can afford it for you.” Someone helped me through my hardships in life, and, it’d, sparked up the heart of gratitude in me, and, I’d, taken her kindness into my heart, and kept, helping those around me who needed.
And so, this, is how one act of kindness, become, an infinite number of kindness, because, these good acts multiple, just like how the bad things in this world multiple too, it’s just, that when we’re touched, and offered assistance to by others, we usually, take it to our hearts, and we, never forget it.
Doing his job, offering assistance to others, he deemed it to be his job description, but for someone who is immobilized, the individual’s actions of going that extra mile to offer the services means, a hell of a lot! Translated…
Seeing Chen walking out of his office, I’d gotten up, out of my seat, pushed the elevator button for him.
Chen was carrying a bag of something, walked slowly, smiling, grinning, but this time, he’d not taken the elevators, instead, he’d, handed me the bag, told, “I’m truly grateful toward you all, a bag of food for you and your colleague to share!”, I’d immediately pushed the bag back to him, didn’t feel right getting a reward for what I was paid to do in the first place.
But Chen insisted, then, turned and left, I’d caught up with him, because I didn’t know his full name, saw the name printed on his identification, made a mental note, thanked him for the foods.
Awhile ago, the restrooms on the first floor was being renovated, and those who worked on the first floor had to go up to the second floor to find the restrooms, but, for someone with a handicap, it was a bit more difficult, after all, that’s, an extra way to walk, and had to, get into the cramped elevator with the crowds. As a first line worker, I’d shouldered the responsibilities for pressing the floor buttons; it’s work, but it’, something I do every day as is, it’s not considered lending someone a helping hand, just empathy is all.
I think, it’s because, of all of these situations I’d bumped into at work and in life, I’d, trained my heart to be softer. In other words, I should be the one thanking him. Even though my term of work is about to be up, I’d had to leave this work environment, and, as I find work elsewhere, I shall, also, take this heart of gentleness with me there, to treat everybody I meet there kindly, to keep this heart of mine, gentle.
And so, this is what you learned, from your interactions with others on the job, what you do, pushing the elevator buttons for those who entered into the elevators may be ordinary for you, but, for someone like the man who’d especially came by to thank the individual, because he wasn’t mobile enough, it’s something big, and, this individual will take this heart of helping others, of serving others, to her/his next job, because s/he knows, that what s/he does, makes a difference, no matter how little, to another human being.
Lessons that’s learned, after that incident, and, you’d done your, good deed for the day, and bringing a smile to the kids’ and their instructor’s, faces, translated…
The classroom instructor, Mrs. S is loud, and she’s in charge of those, innocent, young first graders who’d not been, socialized enough yet, and, there would be the actions of the kids, that made Ms. S scream aloud for help.
One day, she’d left the classroom to get the snacks for her class, before she left her class, she’d told the students, to “behave”, and yet, as she returned back to the room, she saw the young children, running around like wild animals, she’d started, screaming aloud at them, too loud, and it’d made my ears, buzz. Although, I’m not the one she’s directing her anger towards, but, being forced to listen to her screams, it’d, upset me, and, the tropical depression in the atmosphere then, was, uncomfortable for me.
I’d felt awful in that instant, and thought, that heading downstairs, to pick up the snacks only takes a few minutes, and, had I offered to help Ms. S to go get it, then, she wouldn’t have to leave the classroom, and the kids would start running wild, then, wouldn’t I have traded my thirty-seconds’ life in for the peace, and quiet? For S, for the children, as well as for me too, it all worked out well
And ever since, as I saw that the snack times were about to be here, as I’d heard the noises get loud in the next room, then I’d, gotten up out of my seat, tilted my head in, “I’ll go pick up the snacks for the kids!”, S was stunned, then, immediately, she’d, led the kids to say thanks to me, and, that smile out of gratitude that was on her face, the kids expectant looks, made this errand, more than, worth it.
Although, we can’t turn back the hands of time, but, if we’re, willing, to help one another out, we still will be better in our interactions, relations the next time go around.
And so, this, is what you’d learned, from listening in to the goings on of the classroom neighboring to yours, and, afterwards, you’d, actively helped out, and, helping this other teacher out, was no big deal for you but, for the other classroom instructor, it means, a whole lot, because she couldn’t leave her students alone on their own, seeing how they’d, gotten too rowdy, raucous and loud the last time, and she’d, grilled the whole class that last time.
A helping hand from a complete stranger that noted your need, translated…
I’d usually ridden my scooter out, because it’s convenient, and saves me the time, but, it’s, “always easier to ride out, and hard to find that parking spot”, and I know I’m, stating this, for all who lives in Taipei, the scooter-commuters.
Early that morn, because it’s still early, there are, a lot of parking spots, and I’d gotten in easily; and yet, as I went to get my scooter out in the afternoon, the scooters are jam packed into the parking spaces, handle-to-handle, and my scooter was like that tiny one, stuck, between, two motorcycles.
Didn’t know how to begin to get my scooter out, I’d looked dumbfounded at my ride for a while, and in the end, I’d, tipped up my toes, used all my might, lifted up the back of the scooter parked to my right, hoping to move it a little bit. But unfortunately, being petite as I, it’d not, budged.
As I’d, circled around the scooter, hopeless in my feat, then, a scooter parked next to me, a younger gentleman in a black helmet that covered up his face got off, with his large hand, and, scuttled to the left, then to the right, used all his might, worked up a sweat, and finally, he was, able to, help me get my scooter out from between the larger motorcycles.
I’d bowed toward him to say thank you, he’d rubbed his hand, “it’s not big deal!” then, rode off.
Such a “no big deal” to him it was! He’d, stated it so lightly, but, I’d, carried his act of kindness to heart, and, how much focus, how much strengths he’d used, to help me move my scooter out, is still, clear in my mind.
And so, this, is receiving help from an unknown stranger, the man saw you in need, and, given you the assistance you’d needed, and to him, it may have been no big deal, but to you, it was, a huge deal, and that still just showed, no matter how tiny the act you’d performed, to help someone out, to the individual receiving the assistance from you, it’s, something major, and, the one helped will remember the acts of kindness you’d shown them for the rest of their lives, even if you’d already, forgotten.
The one, who’d, helped showed the person the light when she’s enveloped in darkness, someone who’d, touched the lives of those whom she came into, contact with, translated…
I’d retired from my teaching career for over three years now, and every time I thought of the connection I shared with my department head, Yang, I would be filled up with a ton of, gratitude.
Recalling how thirty years back, as I transferred to the school to teach, Yang the department head of teaching affairs handed me a box of sweets, told me to take it home to give to the kids. The gentleness of her nature, she’d, immediately, settled my uncertainty. Back then, my children were still quite young, as I got caught in the difficulties of not knowing how to get through to them, Yang gave me the tips, as I’d solicited for her advice.
There was a time when my child had the chickenpox, and started itching like crazy, Yang drove her car to my home at night, and, brought me a huge bag of Indian borage, something that stops the itch instantly. To this day, my son who’d grow taller than us still recalled, that on the night he was ill, how Yang became like Santa Claus, brought a back of, magical herbs, and, hung it on the doorknob outside our home!
In 1998, my father died abruptly, being the eldest daughter, I was, flustered, and flew into a panic, not known how to sort through his, final affairs, and instinctively, Yang my department head came to mind. I’d dialed her number, and tears came flowing down, and her voice gave me that strength. Not long after that, as my father’s body was lifted to the funeral home, I’d found, that she was already, among those who were, reciting the prayers for the passing already.
After she retired, Yang still continued her giving, and, entered into the volunteer crew of Tzu-Chih Hospital, and she’d, helped all of those who are close to her, feel the warmth, and gain some wisdoms through interacting with her.
And so, this is, the woman who lit up your life, who offered you the needed emotional/psychological, and the physical forms of support when you’d needed, and, you are, blessed to have met someone who is kind, giving, and gentle in your life.
A kind gesture from her editor-in-chief, that touched her life forever, the kindness she’d shown to her subordinate, given her the hopes, to carry on, in the face of a tragedy that came to the woman’s, life, translated…
A set of key, a lifetime worth of, gratitude, it always, surfaces back up in the winters, from those, distant memories of, old.
A winter night some forty odd years ago, I arrived home, saw our home that was illegally built up swallowed by the blazes, my husband carried my son who was only a year old then, and consoled himself, “it’s okay, we have, nothing as we were, and we don’t have, anything right now.” That very evening, the family of six, we’d, spent that, long night, in the broken down walls.
the female editor-in-chief who’d offered the writer and her family the help, speaking at an event, photo from online
The following day at work, there were, the care packages, piling up on my desk, from my coworkers, to help me and my family through, our hard times, the editor-in-chief from another department, Chin just started on her post, and yet, she’d gotten to know, everybody’s home backgrounds, she’d told me, “still hadn’t found a place to settle your families yet, I suppose? I just bought a new home on Mingshen E. Road, you guys should live there for now.”, from what I’d heard, editor Ching was high up, a tough, strong, working woman, and yet, she was, so, soft spoken. I’d only, met her a couple of times, we can’t even be called, acquaintances yet, how would I dare, move my whole family, into her house? I’d told her, that I’m grateful for her heart, and, as we got off work, she’d, stuffed a set of keys into my palms, told me, “Take it, or, would you have your whole family on the streets for tonight?”
I’d felt how weighty that set of keys she’d shoved into my palms are, to someone whom she hadn’t established that firm connection with, she’d, treated me with such, kindness, so genuine, which showed, that she’s, a wonderful woman, that the rumors that flowed around, of her being, too critical and tough, aren’t, believable after all. But, I’d, turned her offer down, and, found a home in the storage unit that was owned by a relative of mine. And yet, I was, too touched by her kindness toward me. We’d not stayed coworkers for long, later, she’d, given up the desk job, and, started, working in politics, to speak up and out for the citizen, every now and then, I’d seen her on T.V., outspoken about the situations of those in need, or, spoken so bluntly at the legislative meetings, I couldn’t help but smiled, such a woman, who’s, made her life, count, just as I’d remembered her to be, tough, and going on strong. Although we don’t see each other often, we’d sent greetings to one another from time to time, knowing that we’re all okay, that was, more than, enough.
And so, this woman truly, cared about the people around her, which is what made her excellent, as a, legislator, and, the kindness the female editor showed to this woman and her family was, very, kind, and we are in need of people like this one, to run the country, unfortunately, we don’t have too many of those who are in the government now, who truly, cared about, the social welfare of the people anymore.
How the strangers who were around them helped prevent what could’ve been, a serious, injury, the cares and concerns, bystanders, show toward those in need of their, assistance, translated…
That was the day after my husband and I were married abroad, the day we returned back to Taiwan.
Back then, we were in the second terminal, as we were riding down the escalator to get our luggage, he’d made a sound of panic, I’d, turned around, to try to find out what got into him, and, the following second, I saw his visa for his stay in Taiwan, falling onto the floors below.
And, the visa started doing the three flips in the air, we both extended our hands to save it, but the attempts were, fruitless, and, we’d both, let out that yelp at the same time. I’m sure, that this sound we made together, must’ve, alerted other travelers who are riding down the escalator with us.
Looking forward a bit, I’d found that the residential visa was close to where we were, on the steps, I’d rushed quickly down the steps to retrieve it, but I’d, missed it. As I walked down the escalators, turned to see if my husband was successful in retrieving it, I watched him, lose his balance, falling backward.
At that very moment in time, the fear indicator rose in me to sky high, and, everybody else on the escalator started getting antsy too. Some tilted their heads to see what was happening, others helped me steady my husband, some helped gathered what he’d dropped back up. Anyways, in the “scene of the accident”, there was, that uneasiness, that scent of chaos in the air.
illustration from UDN.com
Following, I’d, gotten what these fellow bystanders had helped us pick up, and I’d thanked them one by one, and I saw a traveler, showing concerns to my husband, and saw he acted awkward as he’d returned the man’s, long wallet to him. Turned out, that as the man was standing behind my husband, as he fell backward, the man caught him with both his arms, my husband had, clamped the man’s long wallet tightly, under his arms. Or maybe, the moment was emergent, that the man didn’t realize that he’d lost his long wallet. They’d looked at each other, and smiled, while I was finally able, to let out, that sigh of, relief, finally.
As we waited for our bags, I’d started talking with my husband about what had just happened, and found, that the cause of the incident was, somewhat, stupid, and we’d started, laughing to, beyond our controls. Even as in the moment of what had happened, I’d, flown into that panic, seeing how he could laugh about what’d happened, my nerves finally, relaxed, I was more than certain, that he was, all right.
On the bus back to Taipei, I’d recalled how on the day we were flying out to get married, his bad temper which didn’t come often at all made me cry at the airport, it almost caused me to not want to marry him. And yet, this tiny “accident” on the escalators, it’d, made me realized, how important he was, to me, and I’d, reminded myself, the moment he’d put that wedding ring on my hand, it’s not just the start of, carrying out his wedding vows to me, but also, the start of the moment when our hearts, beat as one, when we start, looking out for, caring about, one another too.
As I thought back to how we’d, alerted so many strangers who were close by, I’d still felt, embarrassed. Or maybe, he’d, already, forgotten that interlude we had at the airport, but, in those short one-hundred-twenty-second’s time, I saw a beautiful painting of how all the other, bystanders, strangers chipped in, to help my husband, and that sense of gratitude toward all who’d helped, the heart, is still, currently felt inside my heart at this very moment.
And so, the most beautiful scene of a place is still??? Its people, take how this “accident” worked out, those around this couple all rushed in, to help the man, to prevent him from getting seriously injured, and that still just showed, that the bystander effects, the diffusion of responsibilities, are both, overridden, by the people’s feeling that sense of urgency, to lend a helping hand to this man.