I thought I knew all about kindness until I experienced living in New Zealand. I think the kindest people on earth are the Kiwis and those around them. In the few months I was there, I met so many people who showed me unconditional love and overflowing generosity.
When I left, I felt so heartbroken because I couldn’t even pay back those who’ve helped me. So I asked God to allow me to recognize opportunities when I can pay forward the kindness I have received.
Last year, while on a trip to Sabah, Malaysia, one pilot from our team got injured and was rushed to the hospital. I have serious fear of hospitals and doctors so I had all the reasons to stay out of this unfortunate event.
But when I saw Mr. Jeon in the emergency room, New Zealand came back to me. I remembered the people who stuck by me when I was “disabled” and turning crazy. I knew how sad and frustrating it was to be sick in a foreign country.
Someone had to stay by him and this was my opportunity to show kindness to a stranger. For 3 days, I had to calm my beating heart and shaking knees each time I entered the hospital. I made every effort not to faint in front of my patient.
But it was all worth it. I came to know another kind person. He always smiled, never complained about his pain nor gave anyone a hard time. He was the perfect patient.
When we got the doctor’s go-ahead for him to travel back to Korea, I was happy he can finally go home but was also sad to see him go.
5 months later, we are reunited!
Today, he travelled all the way to Danyang to meet up with me. I was so excited to see him stand and walk like a normal person – he recovered so fast!
I even got to meet his wife and we all shared a hot meal together.
Kindness is doing something for someone without asking anything in return. It is putting others above yourself and giving without hidden intentions. It is also being thoughtful and considerate of people who are helping you out.
I still have a lot to learn about being kind, especially that I am easily swayed by selfish desires.
What is the reward of kindness? Friendship that goes beyond age, gender and nationality.