Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Ripples of Compassion

--by JB, posted Oct 13, 2006
As I walked down the street, I took in my surroundings and was keeping an eye out for opportunities to serve. I spotted a man sitting off to the side of the road. He had soiled himself repeatedly and looked like he hadn’t bathed in days. This was someone I wanted to reach out to. It is Dussera (a holiday in India), so fafada and jalebi (sweets) vendors are everywhere. I decided that like everyone, this man too would eat these food items today.

I went to a nearby vendor and ordered 20 rupees worth of fafadas and jalebi. I told the man behind the counter who it was for and asked him to put a little extra love into the food and packing. I then took the bundle and made my way towards the man.

He was surrounded by a 1 ft perimeter of feces and urine. The smell coming from this man was quite unbearable. There was no where to near him to place the food down. I talked to the man and told him how I had brought food. He responded by telling me that he couldn’t get up. I made my way closer to him and he had his share of fafadas and jalebi to mark the day of Dussera.

The entire interaction attracted many including the food vendor. As I talked to the man, an imported car drew close and slowly the black tinted window rolled down. Inside, the ex-mayor of Ahmedabad city and a friend, called out my name.

“I too did something like this once. The experience was so powerful and something I’ll never forget.”

Who knows where the ripples will go from this small drop of compassion.
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