Kiss someone before you go
THE subway train sways back and forth, its wheels screeching more fiendishly than ever against the tracks. Outside the window the freezing cold of winter rules and the dreary bay looks like a yawning abyss as the train rumbles across it. The carriage is filled with frozen self-centered, bored passengers.
Suddenly a little boy pushes his way in between discourteous grown-up legs—the kind that only grudgingly make room for you. While his father stays by the door, the boy sits next to the window, surrounded by unfriendly, morning-weary adults.
What a brave child, I think.
As the train enters a tunnel, something totally unexpected and peculiar happens. The little boy slides down from his seat and puts his hand on my knee. For a moment, I think that he wants to go past me and return to his father, so I shift a bit. But instead of moving on, the boy leans forward and stretches his head up towards me. He wants to tell me something, I think. Kids! I bend down to listen to what he has to say. Wrong again! He kisses me softly on the cheek.
Then he returns to his seat, leans back and cheerfully starts looking out of the window. But I’m shocked. What happened? A kid kissing unknown grown-ups on the train? To my amazement, the kid proceeds to kiss all my neighbors.
Nervous and bewildered, we look questioningly at his father, “He’s so happy to be alive,” the father says. “He’s been very sick.”
The train stops and father and son get down and disappear into the crowd. The doors close. On my cheek I can still feel the child’s kiss – a kiss that has triggered some soul-searching. How many grown-ups go around kissing each other from the sheer joy of being alive? How many even give much thought to the privilege of living? What would happen if we all just started being ourselves?
ONE day, a group of 50 people was attending a seminar.
Suddenly the speaker stopped and started giving each person a balloon. Each one was asked to write his/her name on it using a marker pen. Then all the balloons were collected and put in another room.
Now these delegates were let in that room and asked to find the balloon which had their name written, within 5 minutes.
Everyone was frantically searching for their name, pushing, colliding with each other, and there was utter chaos.
At the end of 5 minutes, no one could find their own balloon.
Now each one was asked to randomly collect a balloon and give it to the person whose name was written on it. Within minutes everyone had their own balloon.
The speaker began: This is exactly happening in our lives. Everyone is frantically looking for happiness all around, not knowing where it is. Our happiness lies in the happiness of other people. Give them their happiness, you will get your own happiness.
And this is the purpose of human life.
BAREFOOT and dirty, the girl just sat and watched the people go by. She never tried to speak, she never said a word. Many people passed, but never did one person stop.
Just so happens the next day I decided to go back to the park, curious if the little girl would still be there.
Right in the very spot where she was the day before, she sat perched on high, with the saddest look in her eyes. Today I was to make my own move and walk over to the little girl. As we all know a park full of strange people is not a place for young children to play.
As I began walking towards her I could see the back of the little girl’s dress indicated a deformity. I figured that was the reason the people just passed by and made no effort to help. As I got closer, the little girl slightly lowered her eyes to avoid my intent stare. I could see the shape of her back more clearly. It was grotesquely shaped in a humped over form. I smiled to let her know it was okay, I was there to help, to talk.
I sat down beside her and opened with a simple “Hello”. The little girl acted shocked and stammered a “Hi” after a long stare into my eyes. I smiled and she shyly smiled back. We talked until darkness fell and the park was completely empty. Everyone was gone and we were alone. I asked the girl why she was so sad. The little girl looked at me and with a sad face, said, “Because I’m different.”
I immediately said “that you are!” and smiled. The little girl acted even sadder, she said, “I know.”
“Little girl,” I said, “you remind me of an angel.”
She stood to her feet, and said, “Really?”
“Yes, ma’am, you’re like a little guardian angel sent to watch over all those people walking by.”
She nodded her head yes and smiled, and with that she spread her wings and said with a twinkle in her eye, “I am.”
I was speechless, sure I was seeing things. She said, “And since you thought of someone other than yourself, my job here is done.”
Immediately I stood to my feet and said, “Wait, so why did no one stop to help an angel?”
She looked at me and smiled, “You’re the only one who could see me, and you believe it in your heart.” And she was gone. And with that my life was changed dramatically.
So, when you think you’re all you have, remember, there is an angel always watching over you.