Stories of Kindness from Around the World

A Missed Act of Kindness

--by RoseMarie, posted Oct 5, 2015
I have been inspired by you and you and yes you too! I think it takes maturity to give kindness to strangers as you are unsure how the potential receiver will react to you. As I said, I am inspired by you all. There seem to be a few new young members and they have inspired me to write this particular post.

When I was a young student I remember going to college and the bin men (trash collectors) were emptying the bins. The bins
were like the one in the image in those days!  The men lifted the bin and hoisted it on their shoulder to empty into the lorry. One day, as I was passing a bin man lifted a bin which was obviously heavier than it should have been, and he fell to the ground in excruciating pain. He was lying in the street flat on his back crying out with the pain. No one went to comfort him, me included. None of his colleagues either. That stayed with me forever. He needed help. I could have gotten down on the ground, held his hand, showed concern but I didn't. Why? This man was clearly in pain, I could see his anguish. I could hear his anguish. It was heartbreaking to watch and to listen to. It was a busy public place at 9 am. No one offered comfort.  People walked past him.

It wasn't that we didn't care I am sure a lot of us did. His co-workers were probably macho men, didn't show feelings type of guys. As for the rest of us, just feeling shy, awkward, self-conscious, unable to remove his pain.

An act of compassion was crying out but no one responded, I have thought of this often and I would never, never, ever let myself be in that position again. When humanity calls I must answer. When compassion calls I must answer. Everything else can wait including my self-consciousness. The most important thing at that moment is, in fact that moment.

Thank you to all of you who have been able to respond instantaneously when the situation requires. I had to mature before I could do this. Young people who can do this rate highly in my esteem. 

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Readers Comments

balou wrote: I have been turining my back on people in need as well over the years. As i believe most of us will have done. Be it out of insecurity, shyness, (involuntary? ) ignorance,.
. But what makes the difference is that we think about it, that it still is weighting down our conscience, that we strive to be better than our missed chance of compassion.
Thank you for sharing his story and making me think of many missed opportunities. And hopefully as many opportunities for the future :-)
mindyjourney wrote: thank you for taking that lesson and turning into a positive, my friend. I turned my back on crying soul years agoand it has stayed with me, despite all the comforts i have given. Blessings.
splain wrote: It seems we have all turned our backs on someone crying. And all of us felt guilty and still do. But we all would now never show no concern
splain wrote: I meant we all would now show concern and help. It is all part of growing and doing better. Remember each day is a time to rectify mistakes.
savraj wrote: I have gained so much courage lately to do what the heart says to do! I wasn't always that brave! The world is changing!
kiwicat wrote: I know I have had a few moments of shame when i think i could have done something or done more.
pluto178 wrote: Offering help is difficult sometimes a friend went to assist a woman in trouble with her boyfriend and the girl hit him with her umbrella.....perhaps she was enjoying the drama......he was not required I am sure it will have affected how he responds to situations from that day forward....even people offering kindness have had it rejected whichever way it goes feel no fear and approach and offer help if they don't need it you need not feel bad at least you offered. Some offers don't turn out well but they can be funny too...........a woman crying on a bench may actually want privacy but are you okay will determine that................I admire you for your honesty but your a good person because from one event in your life you would never let something like that go again and you have learned so much.............many will be helped because of it and life is a learning experience. x
melnotes wrote: Thank you for this beautiful and honest share xx
AndiCas wrote: I think we have all not acted when we felt we should, some time in our pasts. There is no benefit in feeling guilty. Better to use the experience to remind us how to behave next time. Thanks for your encouragement to the younger members here.
mish wrote: So resonates for me. KS has given us all more courage to act , I believe. Grateful .

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