A stranger’s kindness is the best nature of kindness that one can come across. We expect kindness from our friends and family because that’s what they are meant to do. Yet when it comes unasked and unexpected you learn to appreciate it much more.
Being a foreigner in India is hard enough, but being a girl and a foreigner is just plain difficult. The men always seem to be staring at you, undressing you with their eyes. The women on the other hand seem to be constantly judging you based on the fact that you are different and completely unique. Honestly, some days it just feels like you can’t win.
But there are those days when the unexpected seems to happen and strangers become helping hands, and judgment turns to kindness which just makes you feel uplifted and happy. It makes any previous grudges and anger completely pointless. Because of such special moments, I feel that the culture differences are no longer a problem and that I could live here forever.
I think people just forget how much power there is in the tongue, and just how a few simple words can literally transform somebody else’s day for the better or worse. When I first came to India it felt as though everyone was going out of their way to give me a hard time, but I also realized that I could not expect kindness to come barging down my door. Not everyone is ready to flash me a smile, and become a shoulder to lean on, but by making the first move and being kind for absolutely no reason other than to just be polite and make a stranger’s day a tad bit brighter.
My name is Aklile Mekuria and I choose to smile today.