Stories of Kindness from Around the World

The Importance of Getting It Right

--by jimpa, posted Mar 22, 2009

The old woman walked with a ramble as she pushed her shopping cart full of worldly possessions. She was dirty, her hair unkempt, her clothes torn, she reeked of alcohol and cigarettes. Most of her teeth missing, the image of a miserable wretch manifested before me.

She stopped and asked me for change. I invited her to lunch and she agreed.  So, we went across the street to an outdoor cafe so she could watch over her shopping cart, while we dined. The waitress was taken back by the presence of this woman and did not want to serve us, but forced herself. We ate our lunches - she was ravenous and the food disappeared almost as soon as it arrived.

When we were ready to leave, I was feeling pretty good about myself and then she asked for a hug.  It was then that I had to face myself and all the hidden repulsion and bias that I had for this woman. It was not her fault, but my reluctance and confusion must have shown. I gave her a passing type of hug and instantly felt shame. She thanked me for lunch and began to ramble off.

I stood there for a moment and realized, that I had failed to give this woman the one thing that cost nothing, Love - my house of cards fell. I called to the woman and caught up with her and asked her if I could give her a real hug and she agreed.  I got past my own stench and gave that women the best hug I've ever given anyone. That's getting it right she said afterward and her radiant smile lit my path as we parted.

The lesson I learned was that if you're going to give then give it your all and get it right the first time. Thank you for the lesson old woman where ever you are.

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Readers Comments

Sydney wrote: It's so much easier to be kind with the things we don't mind giving away.

It's a whole other level of kindness when we have to give away something that's outside of our comfort zone.

Good for you for stepping up the kindness!
Babylyn wrote: Thank you for inspiring me today! You really wake me up and i realize something! God bless you!
Sanejev JV wrote: Thanks for such a lovely story! A great lesson, "doing everything right, the very first moment, the right moment".

Adina Ba wrote: Thanks for sharing!
smiletoday wrote: Beautiful story. Makes me open my eyes! Thanks for sharing! :)
shashi wrote: Hi
You were true to yourself, and presented the same; thanks
Yes thanks onece again
Phee Kherng Peng wrote: Thank you for opening my eyes. This is what the world needs.
grandmadee2003 wrote: Just goes to show that a hug can be worth much more than we know. Thanks for sharing the story.
Jen wrote: This blessed my heart so much! Often, we don't give away what we freely have to give! Thank you for this lesson!
sethi wrote: Awesome, jimpa you are truly an inspiration to me and i have just become aware how far i have to walk on my journey of transformation.

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