The Power of Kindness

“Do things for people not because of who they are or what they do in return, but because of who you are.” – Harold S. Kushner

Even when you feel like you have nothing you can still make someone feel special. Last week, I was training with one of our helpers at the studio. We were deep into some of the stuff I love helping with – advanced techniques, body moves and isolations. So as my helper and I were training, I heard a knock on the door. I was immediately annoyed at the interruption. 

I turned towards the door and saw a homeless man named William that I have known for a couple of years. He plays chess on Yonge Street just outside the studio and is always kind and friendly. Whenever he is near the studio he always knocks and says hello. I assumed that was what he was doing so I waved and turned back to my helper and continued training. 

But then there was another knock. I was annoyed at the second interruption from the work I love and rolled my eyes a little bit. This time, William was waving me over. I remember I looked back at my helper, thinking that I should get her to go because I did not want to deal with him. 

But I knew that wouldn’t work, so I walked to the door and said, “Hey William, what’s up?” It was not my finest moment. My tone and my body language were conveying that I was unhappy and wanted to get this over with.

But William cheerfully replied, “Are you hungry?”

Instantly everything changed. My tone softened and my body language became more relaxed, “What? What do you mean, am I hungry?”

Still beaming, William replied; “Yes. Are you hungry? I want to get you some food.”

In a matter of seconds, my annoyance transformed into embarrassment, followed by gratitude and a sense of blessing. So I hugged William and said “No, man. I ate earlier. Thank you, though.” He asked if I was sure. And I reassured him that I was positive. 

William’s face was radiant as he explained, “You know, we should always start our mornings with family. And you are my family, Aleks.” 

Even writing this makes me emotional. What inspired me was that William has nothing but he still went out of his way to offer to buy me food, to brighten my day. When my days are long or when I am down or feel like I have nothing, I will think of William and remind myself that I still have kindness that I can give to others. And the funny thing is, the very next day I saw William sitting on Yonge Street. So I walked up to him and said “Hey let me buy you some food.” 

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