I was travelling on a train in Japan with my friend, Michael Tse Chi-sum, three years ago. An old lady came on board with her hands full of bags of food. Michael offered her his seat and the lady was so happy she gave him a bag of cupcakes. He kept declining her kind gesture, but she insisted and he gave in eventually. The cakes tasted fantastic. It was the first time I understood the wisdom in the saying "it is more blessed to give than to receive".
Barry C Chung
Anyone who has taken a stroll down the corner of Bathurst and Bloor streets in Toronto, Canada, will know the flashing lights as the home of Honest Ed's - the iconic discount store founded by Canadian entrepreneur Ed Mirvish. Every year, Honest Ed's hands out turkeys (last year it gave away 1,200) to the needy so they, too, can have turkey for Christmas. The tradition began in 1987 and is now overseen by his son, David. Ed died in 2007, but his philanthropy lives on.
A few years back, I travelled solo in South America. When I got to Bolivia, my car flipped over and, by the time it came to a stop, I was hanging upside down, held by my seat belt. A family that was driving past helped me get out and recover from the fright. They then helped me turn the car over and negotiate with a farmer to keep it until I could retrieve it. They put me up at their place in La Paz that night. What would have happened without them? They never asked for anything in return.
My teenage cousin, Pascal Leung, dislikes the winter. Once he grumbled that, being single, he had yet to receive a hand-knitted scarf from a girl to muffle up against the cold. I am very fond of him, so I promised, on a whim, to knit him one. He was taken aback and couldn't wait for the gift. I bought six balls of fine black wool the following week. A year on, I am only halfway through. But a promise is a promise. I hope to finish it by his 18th birthday ...
It was 5am on Lunar New Year Day, and my parents and I were at Victoria Park to buy discounted flowers. We saw an old lady trying to persuade a shop owner to move her big potted tangerine plant to the entrance, where she could catch a taxi. The man said "no" since he'd given such a huge discount. So I volunteered to help. It was a little thing, but a great way to start the year.
It was late afternoon in Missouri, US, and I had missed the bus, which ran only every hour. Snow had begun to fall, and I was stranded in the middle of nowhere. A retired couple offered me a cup of hot tea and a one-hour ride into town. It was just amazing!
Be randomly kind
Kindness is a gift anyone can afford. From this day on, make it a point to randomly help someone, or just express kindness. Here are a few ideas of things you could do.
Be happy Smile at strangers, sing to someone, decide to be in a good mood, dance just for the fun of it - they're all free and make other people happy, too.
Share Your cab ride, or your seat on the MTR or bus. Your umbrella, your computer game, your chocolate cookie, your favourite song, and so much more.
Express your feelings If you appreciate what someone is doing for you daily, why not say thank you? Love may not be self-evident, and people need to be reminded that they are loved. The three words " I love you" have the power to heal, so use them.
Give Bake a cupcake, make a wish card, compile a photo album, write a poem, buy some flowers, hug someone. Or, the best gift of all: your time. Instead of watching this television series or playing that video game, hang out with your sibling, help your mother with dinner, visit your grandparents or listen to a heartbroken friend.
Act Come up with a RAK idea and act on it, just like the Pay It Forward concept. PIF is a book as well as a movie which promotes the idea that if everybody performs a random act of kindness, and if everybody returns it, we would change the world. Ask your teacher to set up a PIF project or get involved with the PIF community. Visit Payitforwardfoundation.org.
Click Thanks to the wonders of the Web, you can help the hungry and many more in need from the comfort of your desk. Visit Freerice.com and play games to feed hungry people. Visit Thehungersite.com and click to help various causes, including child health, animal rescue and literacy. Make these sites your homepage and give on a daily basis.