Kindness goes a long way in tough times
Sometimes you hear stories that sound simply too good to be true.
And the adage suggests that if that’s the way they sound, then that is probably what they are: too good to be true.
This story, however, came from a friend whom I trust and who has no reason to impress me or anyone else in our luncheon group.
And in these somewhat problematic and destabilising COVID times, a good news tale is most welcome, even if it has been burnished with a little poetic licence.
The latter probably wasn’t the case as my friend is a pragmatic fellow who is results-orientated and has truth nailed to the mast.
It seems he was near the front of a queue at a Shepparton supermarket when he noticed that a woman with three young
children and a trolley full of shopping near the back of those waiting to clear the check-out.
The youngest of the three children was just a baby in arms and appeared to be becoming increasingly restless.
My friend decided he would surrender his place in the queue and after checking with others behind him, approached the young mum and told her she could take his place.
The young mother was overwhelmed, pounced on the chance and moved to near the head of the queue, but then her gratitude began to show, physically, and she burst into tears.
That outpouring by the young mum triggered others in the queue and suddenly about four women were in
tears — not the impact my friend imagined, although he acknowledged they were tears of joy, compassion and the release of emotion that humans experience when there is such a practical exhibition of care for our fellows.
And in the present COVID “moment” here in Shepparton, such stories are being acted out each day as people from every stratum of society step forward to help their fellows.
Of course, that’s how it should always be and so it is beholden upon us to learn from this crisis.
Although, I’m sure, my friend was unaware that through his behaviour he had exemplified the adage of the ancient thinker, Philo of Alexandria, who said: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle”.
COVID-19 has ripped through the global community, testing people in every nation, and although unable to speak for others, I can say the people of Shepparton have demonstrated a kindness that is both intimate and broad, with neighbours helping neighbours and people offering aid to those they have never met.
Society’s existing dynamic of individualism has been championed for decades through the prevailing economic structure, but it quickly erodes when something such as COVID19 comes along, pushing survival into a corner. And the only way out rests with people being kind to each other, just as has happened here in Shepparton.
My friend said he had “done his good deed for the day”, which he had and, equally, people here are exhibiting both their kindness and generosity, and doing their good deed for the day.
COVID-19 HAS RIPPED THROUGH THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY, TESTING PEOPLE IN EVERY NATION, AND ALTHOUGH UNABLE TO SPEAK FOR OTHERS, I CAN SAY THE PEOPLE OF SHEPPARTON HAVE DEMONSTRATED A KINDNESS THAT IS BOTH INTIMATE AND BROAD.