People say a small act of kindness goes a long way. And so often have companies used this as their theme in video advertisements to tug at the heartstrings of their viewers.
We’ve seen our friends sharing on Facebook countless of marketing videos all advocating the importance of kindness. Among the famous ones, we have one by LifeVestInside, aptly titled “Kindness Boomerang”.
This video shows how you can pass the act of kindness forward by starting a chain reaction of kind actions. Strangers one by one begin to help one another, starting from a man helping a boy who fell, and ending with that same man receiving a glass of water from a random waitress as he works by the road.
Another commonly shared video on Facebook that is related to acts of kindness is an ad by non-profit Christian organization Križovatka Olomouc in Czech Republic.
The lyrics that accompany the video, “If you give a little love, you can get a little love of your own”, states how love will go full circle and come back to us if we show love to others.
And last but not least, who could forget this tear-jerker advertisement from Thailand?
Thai Life Insurance released this video, titled “Unsung Hero”, portraying a man who goes around doing good deeds without expecting anything in return. The narrator asks in Thai, “What does he get in return for doing this every day?” To which he continues, “He gets nothing. He won’t be richer. Won’t appear on TV. Still anonymous. And not a bit more famous.”
The narrator then takes a turn saying, “What he does receive are emotions. He witnesses happiness. Reaches a deeper understanding. Feels the love. Receives what money can’t buy. A world made more beautiful.”
Albeit it is still an advertisement for an insurance company, the moral value and lesson that can be learnt from the video is universal; and that is truly what makes it so easy for viewers to relate to.
Just a few days ago, I had 2 interesting encounters on the same day. One encounter occurred during lunch time, and the other happened at night.
#1 The Elusive 10 Cents
I was on my way to buy lunch at some a hawker centre near my house. As I found a parking lot and parked my car, I noticed that the local council enforcer was just a few cars away. I exited my car and walked to the parking meter to get a parking ticket. However, as I was waiting in line, I realised that I was 10 cents short of an hour’s worth of parking time. The man in front of me at the parking meter was dressed as a business man. It seemed like he was out from the office on his lunch break. I waited for him to obtain his parking ticket and then as he turned around, I smiled and asked him, “I’m so sorry, excuse me. Do you happen to have change for one Ringgit? I only have 50 cents for the ticket so I need another 10 cents.” He mumbled and fumbled in his wallet, emptying a lot of coins into his palm (which I eyed at hopefully). Finally, he answered that he did not have enough for one ringgit, and returned all his coins into his wallet. I just went, “Oh..”, obviously disappointed because for a split second, I actually thought he was going to offer me 10 cents to help me out. Well, it turned out to be wishful thinking. He apologized and left.
#2 The Unexpected Car Wash
I was in the car with a friend, on the way back home from supper. Unfortunately, we had parked our car under a big tree during our meal and when we returned to the car, it had been defiled with white splatters, thanks to the many birds in the tree. So we decided to head to the car wash outlet at my neighbourhood. It was about 10.30pm and the car wash workers were already packing their things to leave. Just as we were about to reverse the car and drive away, one of the workers stopped us. He gestured for us to come closer and told us that he will clean our car for free. Although he didn’t have time to soap the car, he was thorough, using the high pressure spray to wash the whole exterior of the car. Within minutes our car was completely clean (cleaner than before our supper!). We felt grateful for him taking the time to help us, he didn’t have to, after all he was already off duty. Furthermore to our surprise, he profusely refused our small tip for his service. We had to persistently insist that he accepted our small token of appreciation! We drove away with big smiles on our faces and warm fuzzy feelings in our hearts.
The conclusion is this: one tiny gesture of kindness, which would just take a few precious minutes of our 24 hours a day, is able to touch the heart of someone greatly and restore faith in humanity.
Now I’m not going to judge the man in the first story, maybe he was in a rush for lunch, or he was occupied mentally with other work-related things and therefore the thought of helping me with 10 cents slipped his mind. The question isn’t about what he should have done, but rather what should I do if I were placed in his shoes in the future.
Instead of merely sharing a viral video about kindness in Facebook, which is so simple to do in a social media website because all it requires is a click of a button, are we going to practice that lesson in real life? I think that is the true challenge for us.
The traditional idiom states that we should walk the talk, I believe the modern version of that for us is to act the share.