A Small Gesture Goes A Long Way

On a rainy day, there stood a little boy of 8 years, early in the morning by the bus station, waiting for his school bus. The shelter above the station was his only protection from the rain, yet no respite from the cold blowing winds. All he was wearing was a thin uniform, barely enough to protect him from the harsh winter rai. Still, he stood there, chin up, ready for another day at school, a 5-hour reprieve from the hell people usually call home.

Five minutes later a little girl came along, chattering with her mother, all cozied up in a sweater and a beanie, walking under an umbrella. When they reached the bus station and saw him shivering from the cold, standing in the corner, the girl beckoned him to come and share the umbrella. He went to her reluctantly and stood there and listened, as the girl started talking to him. She talked and talked until their bus arrived and all the way to school until they had to go separate ways to look for their classes. He had never seen her before and from what he gathered from all the chatter was that she was new to this school, and her family had just moved to the town. For a moment, he dreamt that maybe he could be friends with her, but soon squashed that flicker of hope. Soon enough she will hear all the things other kids say about him and then who would want to be friend with a lonely freak. But to his utmost surprise, the girl looked for him in the lunch period, and when she realised he had no lunch or lunch money, she even shared her lunch with him.

The next day, she came with an old sweater of her brother's for him. Although it was a bit too big on his skinny frame, he was eternally grateful. And in their lunch period she brought two lunch boxes to share. From that day on, they always went to school and had lunch together and she always brought an extra pack for him. Although bringing an extra lunch didn’t seem like a big gesture to the girl, for the boy it was everything. It had been a very long time since someone has shown him kindness and he could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel again. He felt like he wasn’t alone in this big bad world after all. 

Although their companionship lasted for only two years only, as her family moved to another city again, she always remained in his heart, reminding him in the darkest of times that there are good people in the world too. We can choose to be someone’s nightmare, like his father, or someone’s knight in the shining armour, like the little girl he met at the bus station on that fateful day.

No matter how small a gesture we think is, it can impact someone in a very profound manner. It can change somebody’s perspective of life and it can be their light at the end of the tunnel which is sometimes all anyone needs to survive one more day.

Shokhi Agarwal