When we come upon an annoying stranger we can do one of two things: we can shake our head and steer clear of him, or we can try to see the person for what his situation is telling us: the hidden truth about who they really are and what their life’s ambitions are.
Everyone has a story, far beyond how their life’s arc intersects with ours. Isn’t it time we respect everyone and try to understand the struggles they are going through? Let's see what happens when this philosophy is carried out in actuality!
It all starts with a man getting drenched by a stream of water falling from a rooftop.
Instead of getting mad, he finds a way to make something good out of his own misfortune. It’s all about attitude.
In this story, we follow one man as he encounters various people and animals whose paths cross his. Watch what happens when he reaches out to them in his own way, and see the results of these simple gestures.
The proud food-cart lady who is always rude and looks so self-sufficient. When he gives her a hand one day, helping her lift her heavy wagon over a curb, she does not seem grateful at all.
In fact, later when she needs help and he’s nowhere to be found, she looks a bit put-out that he is not helping her, seemingly expecting repeated assistance because he chose to help her once. It would be easy to write-off this woman as being self-absorbed and inconsiderate of others.
The beggars on the street that he passes every day. Instead of ignoring them as he usually does, he decides to put a bit of money in the tin.
Now he is connected to this mother-daughter duo in a new way. So much so that, when he notices the mother alone on the street one day, without the little girl, he is genuinely concerned that something has happened to her.
The weary woman on the bus, among the passengers standing next to him as he sits in his seat. Instead of looking away, not meeting her eyes, and just being glad to have gotten one of the few available seats, he decides to give up his bench for her. She is certainly more tired that he is and needs to sit down.
The street dog who constantly begs from him as he sits at the cafe to eat his meal.
Instead of shooing him away or calling the authorities to have him captured, he decides to befriend the pup, sharing some of his own meal with the hungry canine.
The crotchety old neighbor lady who has never spoken a kind word to him. What would happen if he anonymously leaves a sweet gift of a bunch of bananas for her to find in the morning?
There must be some reason why she is so unhappy. Maybe a kind gesture can change her attitude a bit.
Carrying on his mission, quietly and with no fanfare, all the while enduring the disapproving looks and dismissive shakes of the head of observers, all certainly wondering what the man could be thinking by encouraging these needy folk.
What does he get out of all these benevolent actions? It looks as though only more of the same; he seems to have created in them a dependence on his assistance. Or is there more to the story than initially appears?
What does he get out of these simple gestures? Let's take a look:
The grumpy food-cart lady who seems to have expected the help of our hero. The giant smile on her face and the playful kidding around the two engage in, tell the tale - the two are friends and enjoy each other’s company. In turn, her benevolent feelings are extended to her customers, where she takes the opportunity to give them extra portions and abundant smiles.
The sweet little girl who had been begging on the streets and disappeared one day, leaving her mom alone. The man hears an exuberant, “Mom!” He turns to see the sweet girl, dressed in a school uniform, smiling and looking so very proud to be attending school.
Later we see the student sitting with her mom, joyously expanding on the generosity she received by sharing the gift of learning with own mother.
The exhausted woman on the bus - After selflessly giving up his seat, our hero stands with his back to the woman while she takes a load off her aching feet. What he doesn’t see, but the viewer does, is the look of gratitude on her face when she contemplates the beauty of his kind gesture.
The street dog who never seems to leave him alone, always wanting something.
This same pup that regularly consumes a good portion of every meal the man eats at the quaint cafe has been changed by his generosity.
Somehow, in reaching out to this helpless creature, the man has done more than to merely feed a hungry stray. In sharing with an open heart, the man has, unwittingly, created a lifelong friend and loyal companion, one that will do his best to be there for him in return.
The grumpy old lady to whom he gifted a bunch of bananas. When he passes her door, she waves at him and smiles appreciatively.
Apparently not satisfied that this is enough of an expression of gratitude, she approaches her hero and gives him a huge, heartfelt hug. I have a hunch that these two will no longer be strangers.
In this story, we have been following one man as he takes a fresh look at his life - through the lens of assuming that all living creatures are good and deserving of consideration. In so doing, he gains an unexpected reward - the incomparable feeling that comes from having made a difference in someone’s life. All because he chooses to find a way to help, rather than a reason to hate.
To see more of this uplifting story, watch the video, below.