I was standing in a queue- sweating profusely while I waited for the vegetable vendor. Covid-19 induced sealing, queues, and non-availability of basically everything was in its full flow. As I waited (all the while cursing the virus), I started watching the activities, expressions of people near me. I saw frustration, anger, tiredness, irritation- all coupled with the helplessness that has gripped everyone.

While I waited; an interesting scene caught my attention. A man (possibly 40ish), stepped out of the line, waved to an elderly gentleman who was at the back end of the line, and asked him to take his place. Un-assuming, he then started moving towards the back of the line. As he was about to cross the guy right behind him, the guy stopped him and gave him his place- while the people behind him motioned him to do so. So now the man stood at his original place, with the old man happily much ahead in the queue from where he would have been earlier.

I saw the entire proceedings- all the while smiling at what had just transpired.

We have been reading/seeing a lot of amazing stories- a Bollywood star renting a bus to send the stranded people home, a singer feeding stray animals, and so on. I am sure a lot of us get that feeling of going out and about and do something for the people. However, we are not able to do so for various reasons-scheduling conflicts, not sure how to go about, where to start, and whatnot. In the end (as it happens to me), we end up not doing anything- with wishful thinking the only thing actually done.

So this small incident made me think- do I need to do something big? The obvious answer is, No! Let’s start with something very small- and gradually build on it. That man did this one simple thing- he gave the old man something very precious- no not his place in the queue- but his time. What the man did was a small thing- but the impact was nothing short of a miracle. Think of this from the old man’s viewpoint- at his age, in this situation, he got something which he would not have expected. The people standing behind the man followed suit- the chain of goodwill got extended and the result- smiles all around!

Don’t wait, don’t plan, just do whatever you feel will make the other person’s life just that little bit more comfortable. Hold the elevator door, offer water to the garbage collector, or just say thank you to the vegetable seller. Don’t wait or plan for something big to work out for you- be the man who gave his time to the old man! Let the miracle happen – in small shots!

The author's views are personal only.

Author Information
Salil Srivastava
Author: Salil Srivastava
In the profession called 'People' | Budding Writer

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