Soup for the Soul

Good­ness and shar­ing can nour­ish us to the bone

Reader's Digest Asia Pacific - - Kindness Of Strangers - BY LIZ LONG

Liz Long is a proud grand­mother who has re­cently moved to Queens­land. She is in­ter­ested in film and lit­er­a­ture.

OVER THE YEARS, I’VE BEEN GUILTY of hastily shut­ting the front door to re­li­gious groups when they came knock­ing with the in­ten­tion of ‘sav­ing my soul’. But ear­lier this year, around Easter time, a dear friend of mine had an ex­pe­ri­ence that changed my mind and per­cep­tion to­wards these ‘in­trud­ers’.

Linda, who re­cently moved to a new neigh­bour­hood, had been house­bound all week suf­fer­ing from a se­vere case of flu when, early one morn­ing, there was the dreaded knock on her front door. Peer­ing out the win­dow, she saw two young ladies de­murely hold­ing leaflets and a book. She knew of a large re­li­gious es­tab­lish­ment nearby and as­sumed a mes­sage was

about to be gen­tly de­liv­ered. “This is the last thing I need to­day,” she mut­tered to her­self and hes­i­tantly opened the door.

Cough­ing, she poked her head out and crankily in­formed them that she wasn’t the slight­est bit in­ter­ested in any re­li­gion what­so­ever.

Fur­ther­more, she added, she was feel­ing quite un­well and abruptly shut the door. The ladies po­litely turned and left in si­lence.

A few hours later, an­other knock. Linda glanced out the win­dow and to her sur­prise, there at her door were the same two ladies, back again. Re­ally an­noyed this time, she opened the door ready to give them a piece of her mind. Be­fore she could speak, with con­cerned looks on their faces, these women handed Linda what looked to be a dish and said, “We’re so sorry we dis­turbed you ear­lier. We thought you may like this home­made chicken soup. Hope­fully it might make you feel a lit­tle bet­ter.”

Linda was taken aback by this lovely ges­ture. Be­ing new to the area, she didn’t know many neigh­bours or peo­ple who could as­sist her with shop­ping or er­rands so the ges­ture was all the more ap­pre­ci­ated. She could only smile sheep­ishly and sin­cerely thanked them. With that, the ladies left.

Af­ter she re­lated this story to me, I thought about how very touch­ing this deed re­ally was. Es­pe­cially in to­day’s world where sadly, kind­ness and thought­ful­ness seem so rare. I also re­alised that think­ing about oth­ers and show­ing kind­ness is the real essence of re­li­gion.

P.S. The chicken soup worked! Linda felt much bet­ter the fol­low­ing day.

Share your story about a small act of kind­ness that made a huge im­pact. Turn to page 8 for de­tails on how to con­trib­ute and earn cash.

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