A cappuccino of kindness and some Smarties to go, please...
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around” (Leo Buscaglia)
I so often forget to be kind. Simple acts of kindness can warm one’s heart, and give you a new spring of hope in your step. The following three acts of kindness have remained with me.
The first deed of kindness involved cappuccino sachets, my beloved, Anita (who is hooked on them) and a total stranger. Anita once went into a supermarket in another town to buy bread (and emergency Smarties for me) and ended up in the checkout queue behind a lady whose trolley was well stocked with boxes of Nestlé cappuccino sachets. The lady told Anita that they were on sale that day, but there unfortunately happened to be only one box remaining for her. After the lady paid for her groceries, she dropped a box in Anita’s trolley, saying “Here’s an early Christmas present for you.”
The second story of deeply touching kindness has got nothing to do with accountants, but involves somebody I’ve known since birth – my older brother. During a stay in hospital recovering from an injury that left the lower half of my body paralysed, I was permitted to leave the hospital for the first time for a weekend back home. As our cottage on the farm was not wheelchair accessible, I travelled down, lying comfortably in the back of my brother’s bakkie (pickup), to his house on the coast. Getting out into the wheelchair on arrival was not easy, and another chap came to assist my brother to lift me out. “Eish!, he is heavy”, warned the assistant. Holding me firmly, my brother replied “He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.”
And the third little story involves Smarties, and a chap called Scott in Cape Town whom I have yet to meet, but with whom I have had many interesting (short) conversations via socal media. Scott, a journalist, intrepid father, and all round astute fellow, had gleaned two things about me from our interactions: (1) that I take grass seriously, and (2) that I take Smarties even more seriously, being the reigning Smartie-eating champion of the SA Navy. Well, one day, I received a parcel from an unknown sender, which, when shaken, rattled suspiciously. Now I do know how to deal properly with suspicious packages, having once spent 7 hours in the tiny Port Elizabeth airport. I spotted a dodgy looking package lying there and reported it to the security lady. She picked it up, gave it a good shake, and then put it under the check-in counter. The rattle of my parcel did, however, sound pleasingly familiar, so I incautiously ripped it open. Inside was a whole packet filled with special 75th Smarties Anniversary retro hexagon-shaped boxes, imported especially all the way from the UK, the birthplace of the Smarties, by Scott in Cape Town.