The best time in our house were the meal times, especially dinner time when we would sit around the table, exchanging the highlights of the day gone by. Anecdotes and interesting encounters we had during the day were shared. Food became associated with happiness and who would want to separate the two. Meal times, food, happiness, enjoyment all amalgamated into a pleasurable activity.
With time the children moved on to make their pathways to life, success and happiness. Our ‘together at meal times’ naturally became less. But even now, when we get together, the same magic takes place. Now, another dimension has been added to our topics of exchange — the peculiarities of human nature. After listening to the funny side of people, we have a hearty laugh. Someone will comment “people are weird” to which my response is, “Maybe they are normal and we are weird.” Then we laugh some more and conclude the meal.
Recently, my son recounted an experience he had some days ago. He is a consultant and goes to the office some days and to the client site the others. On one such meeting when he was to visit the client he went to the rental office to rent a car. At that time there was a heavy downpour. He was not carrying an umbrella and was in a dilemma how to reach the client without getting drenched. He asked the lady at the rental office if she had an umbrella he could buy. It came as a surprise when she replied that she did not have another but she would give him hers, saying, “I guess you would return it after you are done.” He took the umbrella and managed his meeting well. He was overwhelmed with her gesture, so he returned the umbrella along with a bottle of wine and a “Thank you” note. Still dazed by the magnanimity of the offer he tweeted on the internal company blog. The tweet got so many likes that it came to the notice of the high-ups in the company she was working in. Someone got in touch with my son to confirm about the company and the employee. It escalated way up and came down by way of appreciation and rewards for the lady.
A simple gesture of helpfulness snowballed into a tremendous “feel-good” factor, touching many hearts and minds expanding into a feeling of connectedness. This whole narration left us happily subdued, lost in our own analysis of how inspirational a small act of willingness and gratitude can be and how quickly it can restore our faith in the goodness of human beings.