In My Eyes
By Edward Antonio
The story dates were all January, New Year, fellas.
The papers were contending with stories. Most of them started their issues with big bang front pages of fireworks, covering almost half of the first page.
But another paper did not mind the big bangs, fellas. It concentrated on stories of kindness.
The opening lines started with: “An unexpected display of love at an airport, a ten-year-old returns 200 lost dollars to a stranger, a homeless man helps a single mother smile on a bad day, an orphaned dog finds strength from one small gesture of compassion… These humble stories are a reminder of the power of kindness to transform a moment, a day, a person or lifetime.”
One of those New Year stories narrates the story of a poor, little girl and a poor, old salesman who sold second hand pairs of shoes. The narrator, who goes by the name Febrihana, said:
Today, I felt terrible.
My head was full of problems and confusion. I decided to take a walk even though I didn’t know where I would go.
The most extraordinary thing happened when I was out on this walk. I saw an old man sitting on a chair. He was a seller of second-hand shoes. I thought he looked at least 70 years old. He seemed so tired and nobody was buying his shoes.
I wanted to give him something but I had not brought anything with me. Then, a poor, little girl came toward him. I heard the child say, “Grandfather, may I polish your shoes?”
“I polish shoes to earn because I need money to buy my brother a new school uniform,” the girl said.
The little girl nodded with tears in her eyes.
The old man took pity on her, smiled and he gave her a shoe to polish.
I heard this and I was close to tears.
The old man watched how the little girl exerted effort to polish the shoe, and in a kind voice, he said: “Oh, little girl, stop doing this. Come with me and I will buy you a uniform.”
They walked to a market (I followed behind) and he bought her a uniform. The girl was so happy.
She said, “Thank you so much for doing this. May God bless you.”
Then she left, leaving the old man smiling.
He walked away from the market, but I stopped him.
I whispered in his ear, “You are a hero! Thank you for your kindness!”
As I walked away, I glanced back and I could see him still smiling. He was no longer smiling at me, but he was smiling to himself, proud that he had done something kind to somebody that day.
I was blown away by the kindness I had just seen—someone who had so little himself was able to show such incredible generosity.
My own sadness had completely disappeared, chased way by the light of this kind act. I began realizing that I have a lot to be thankful for. I hope, some day, I can show my appreciation of what I have by following the example of the old man who only had a little, but shared it so beautifully with someone who had nothing.
This next story was posted January 2010 by a woman who preferred to be called RRGirl, 63.
“I don’t know how others will respond to my first story, but I do know that it was something I was compelled to do, regardless if the recipient was “only a dog”. I work for the railroad, which can be a very dangerous place. It is also usually located in the poorest of neighborhoods. Unfortunately, we often see homeless, hungry animals hanging around looking for scraps of food. Often, they are large, scary-loooking dogs who end up at the pound.
For the last few weeks there has been a rather large, red dog who has been hanging around with an obvious leg injury. He was scared and would not come near any of us. Each day I came to work I would talk to him, toss him a bite to eat and go about my business. After about two weeks of this, this wonderful creature saw me arrive at work one evening and bolted straight for me!! I must admit I was a bit frightened at first, now knowing what his intentions were, but I was soon to find out. He came straight up to me, lunged at me and began showing me his love and affection in the only way he knew how……….wonderful and powerful licks!
All I had with me at the time were some cans of cat food in the back of my truck, but I felt it was better than nothing, so I opened them up and filled his tummy. I also offered him some clean water, which from the looks of him I was pretty sure he hadn’t had in a while. Amazingly enough, this little act changed this dog in a way I could only imagine. He followed me around the yard for the rest of the night.
I have some dogs and cats of my own and I can’t fathom how they would react if I brought Dash (that was the name of the stray dog) home.
By the end of the next day, several of my co-workers came to me and were flabbergasted that I had made friends with this dog. Not only that, but he was also beginning to trust the guys I worked with and was showing to be very loving and playful. They were amazed. And even more amazing, there were more than one of them who were willing to take this wonderful dog we had labeled as “Dash-9” (it’s a type of locomotive) into their hearts and homes.
I am happy to say that “Dash” is now being treated for his injured leg and being lovingly nurtured and nursed back to health. And I know that he will “pay it forward” by being a devoted and loving pet in his new home.”
And so, instead of boisterous revelry, incessant fireworks and drinking and feasting on creamy or oily foods this New Year, why not do a little act of kindness to someone in need this January, fellas?
That would be something different this time.#