Saleh Al shaibany –
It is funny how a simple act of kindness can change your mood. I was sitting alone feeling very sorry for myself when someone called me. I was not in the mood to talk to anyone. I was depressed and I wanted to be left alone. But the person on the phone would not give up.
He called four times in a space of five minutes between each call. I eventually picked it up, more out of curiosity than anything else. He wanted me to help him to move his belongings from his office to his house.
It was his last day at work. Reluctantly, I said “yes” and left immediately. He had a pile of boxes in his office that would not fit in his car. I spent the next 20 minutes loading things in my car. Then drove all the way to his house and dropped them.
He could not say “thank you” enough that he had to invite me for lunch after that. Again, not to hurt his feelings, I reluctantly said “yes” for the second time that day in just two hours. We drove together to his favourite restaurant and set out for another one hour and half for a meal. He was talking most of the time. First, I thought he just wanted to “pay back” for the help I extended to him. Then I realised it was more than that.
I listened to the entire span of his career that came to an end that day. He was forced to quit, seven years before his retirement age. He was not treated very well in the last few years. He went into vivid detail and the suffering he had to go through.
In the end, when the cheque arrived, I offered to pay for it but said “you have done enough” and settled the bill. As we were walking towards our cars, I could see a smile on his face for the first time in almost four hours we were together that day.
Even the wave on his hand had more life. I went back to my car and decided to go straight home. Just minutes before I pulled up in the car park of my house, I realized I was not depressed anymore. If the wave in his hand had more life, the steps that took me through the threshold of my house, had more springs. I smiled broadly and when I greeted my wife. She raised her eyebrows in surprise. In the next five minutes, I told her why I was in good spirits.
Later that evening as I was settling for a good night sleep, I came to a conclusion that if I wanted to conquer bad thoughts then all I had to do was to help somebody. I also realised, as I was snuggling deeper in my pillows, an act of kindness, no matter how small it is, is like an antidote to remove the ghosts in our minds.
I slept like a baby that night and felt fresh in the morning. In the same spirit of good mood, I sent my friend a message saying “thank you”. He was baffled because he sent back a message saying,” what for?”.
I could not give him his job back but at least I was there to listen. In that, I shared part of his burden. But it worked out well for me because in the same process, I flushed out the negativity out of my system.
I also realised that if we reach out for each other, then we actually help ourselves in one way or another. It is all about bridging the gap between each other to let out the steam out of our boiling system.