Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Being there...

--by giggles, posted Jan 11, 2007
I got a call at 9pm on 30th December 06 from a friend who was stopping by a nearby store. He remembered I live nearby and wanted to wish me for the new year. He is a publisher of an ethnic magazine that he distributes personally in dozens of stores in the bay area. I knew that he had at least 2 more hours of work. I asked him whether I could join him. He asked me go to the next restaurant he was heading to in the next 10 minutes.

For the next 2 hours, we went around the bay area distributing the magazine and throughout the drive, he was telling me about the ending year, his dreams for the magazine for the next year, his insights, ideas, hopes... Once the job was done, we checked into a Starbucks and he went on for another 1 hour.

In the end, I told him that he reminds me of Paul Farmer, the Infectious Disease specialist in Haiti who, sitting in a tiny hospital in Haiti, has created enormous impact worldwide in the treatment of AIDS and TB. I told him how Paul Farmer walks five miles up the mountain to make sure a patient is taking his medicine.

My friend was delighted. He said Paul Farmer's life is a reinforcement that what really matters is the 'here and now', the 'small and concrete'. And those people who are the daily 'doers' are the ones who make any difference to the world.

I wished him a happy new year and he said, "Wow, what a way to end a year and start a new year, thanks a lot."

I am not usually very good at doing simple things that mean a lot to someone. But I felt good that I could see the opportunity this time. Simply spending time with my friend  and listening to him meant a lot to him. And to me.
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Readers Comments

wayfarer wrote: We don't get to know in advance which "simple things" will mean a lot to people. This "waste of time" often causes people to shut down and not even try, but some beautiful souls - like yours - just keep on shining anyway. The hits make the misses worthwhile, so keep shining!
mrtwinker wrote: Positive energy can be transmitted to people through such acts as helping them or listening. Taking the time to listen to others shows that we care about them, and from reading what you have done, I feel that you are a very sincere and loving person. And that means a lot to all of us, too. :)

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