Stories of Kindness from Around the World

A Smile Knows No Language Barriers


--by mouse, posted Aug 21, 2008

I was visiting my sister a couple of weeks ago and it was snowing hard, in between bursts of icy raindrops. My husband and I dived into a coffee shop for a quick burst of heat. Sitting there watching the rain run down the window and people battle with their umbrellas all I could focus on was the one girl standing outside of the shopping centre selling a homeless magazine. Her approach wasn't pushy, just to ask if anyone wanted to buy it and then avert her gaze to the puddles on the ground. So many people walked past weighed down by bags of goodies from the sales that I began to feel quite sad.

I sent my husband back to the counter to buy her what I had just enjoyed -- a big hot chocolate with cream. Her smile melted my heart when I handed it over to her. She was foreign so her English wasn't great, but a smile knows no language barriers. I toyed with the idea that maybe just buying her 'what I had' wasn't right and that I should go to ask her what she would like.  But then I convinced myself that if I did ask her she might feel less happy to accept and so for a brief moment our lives were one. Ironically though, as she had a smile on her face, I had a tear in my eye - as if we'd swapped lives for a split second.

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Readers Comments

BedBug wrote: I think a lot of people have the urge to do what you did but they don't follow through out of fear that it will be uncomfortable. We should worry more about what will happen if we don't do this simple act of kindness than about what might happen if we do. Bless you.
Firecrystals wrote: You have a very generous heart. People usually dont notice such things when shopping, except for getting the objects of their desire.
makethemsmile wrote: Thank you,it brought tears to my eye when i read this,it means there is still hope for the hopelees.you are blessed.you will know no lack.thanks.
dazzle wrote: What a wonderful thing to do for her! I'm sure it made you both feel better. Offering help to a stranger is a wonderful thing to do.
Jacob Ghitis, M.D. wrote: Very touching. I also help needy people, and enjoy being of help.
iferlamb wrote: You are one of the specal view who take the time to, have the presence to notice those around you and the empathy to feel for them and the compassion to do something to make the world a better place one moment at a time. Keep it up! Never give up!!! ifer
iferlamb wrote: that's few not "view", silly me... %)~
swirly023 wrote: Very kind :) More people should do this more often. Thanks for being a blessing to this girl!

Jesus said: "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."
aparnaaiesec wrote: jst beautiful.hope you add many more smiles to such faces! god bless u :)
cabbage wrote: I really like the idea of giving her what you had just enjoyed--- I think you acted straight from the heart---and that's always right! Bless you for your kindness....

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