Being Kind

by Bryan Woo (P5 2022)
       The sound of thunder that resonated outdoors startled me as I rushed into my house. Another bolt of lightning flashed across the sky followed by another peal of thunder. It was the start of the June holidays and there was a slight drizzle that afternoon. I had just returned home from school just in time before the drizzle turned into a torrential downpour. Feeling hungry, I went to my candy box inside the refrigerator and opened it. Since my stomach demanded snacks, I shoved a few gummies into my mouth. I was just about to take some more when I caught sight of a candy bar placed at the far end of the box. It was an untouched bar of chocolate given to me as a “thank you” gift a few weeks ago. Upon seeing the bar of chocolate, I was transported back to the events that unfolded on that fateful day.
       “Doors are opening,” the Public Announcement (PA) system in the train blared resoundingly. A sea of people jostled their way into the jam-packed train eager to head home. My friend, David, and I were lean and thin so we were swept by the crowd and we could just slip through the gaps between commuters easily. David was notorious for being the most naughty boy in school so he took the opportunity to intentionally trample on some commuters’ feet.
       “Ouch! Hey, watch where you are going!” yelped a few disgruntled commuters but their cries fell on deaf ears. David would simply smile and move along. To our delight, we found some unoccupied seats in the reserved spot for anyone in need.
       At one of the stops, I spotted an elderly man with a walking stick hobbling into the train carriage. David, who was sitting in the reserved seat, pretended not to see the elderly man. The frail man asked, “Will you please give up your seat to me?”
       “No way! I am not going to stand! Go find another seat in the next carriage!” David protested, with his eyebrows furrowed. I was left speechless and watched the elderly man pitifully turn away.
       Suddenly, the train screeched to a halt. The elderly man stumbled and tried to grab a pole. Unfortunately, he fell down with a thud. David was stubborn enough to still not give up his seat. To my dismay, he found the situation amusing and began to laugh! Therefore, I helped the man to stand up and gave him my seat instead.
       The elderly man thanked me profusely and sat down comfortably in the seat. David saw the kindness in my actions but was too embarrassed to apologise. At the next stop, a pregnant woman walked in. I nudged David who then went up to her and gave her his seat.
       “Oh! Thank you, dear boy!” she exclaimed and offered him a bar of chocolate. David gave the bar of chocolate to me instead. Then, he approached the elderly man to apologise to him.
       As the esteemed poet Maya Angelou once said, “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” After what happened that day, David always helped people in need, with or without a reward.
       The booming sound of thunder snapped me out of my reverie. I opened the bar of chocolate and popped it into my mouth. The events of that fateful day will always be ingrained in my memory.


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