When I wished him a nice evening and to get well soon (that much I could do) and got out of the tram, I felt like a million bucks! Truly! I mean, in reality, I had done nothing, I just listened to a stranger vent off about his troubles for a while, but it felt so good! So meaningful! A random act of kindness! And it was better than shoes!
Instead, I sat there, smiling and nodding every now and then, hopping that he would not realise my ignorance and that... he would continue talking! Because he really looked like he needed to talk! And I, with no need whatsoever to hear that which I could not understand anyway, I listened.
He thanks me, that much I totally understood, and then starts talking to me, most probably about what happened to his injured led... Now, my Dutch is not excellent, I am capable of holding a conversation, say, at a shop or at the dry cleaner's, but for the life of me I have no idea what that man was saying to me for the 5 minutes that our common tram ride lasted! Could be his accent, could be my brain having shut down after a long day at work, I don't know... point is, I did not understand a word he said!
Well, obviously I had heard the term before and how people said those actually make you feel good when performed... but I could not pinpoint exactly what it meant, I mean I never really googled it (as you do)... And then, I did it... I performed a random act of kindness and I got it, what's all about!A couple of month ago, the winter being still strong and me shivering as, well, almost half of every year, I was on my way to my Pilates session, two tram stops away from my house. Wrapped in my dawn coat and scarf, my ankles stupidly unprotected by the cold evening wind due to silly shortish leggings, I get in the tram and I take a seat. Then, a gentleman in (perhaps) his late fifties comes in, limping and supporting himself by a crutch, tries to reach the seat in front of me but kinda stumbles and I instinctively get up to help him gain back his balance and sit down.