When I was a teenager living in Kerala, I remember standing at the bus stop with my father one day. My father and I loved to take the bus and head out to town, leaving our scooter behind. An elderly woman stood beside us. It was a hot day and she looked rather tired. My father started a conversation and soon we knew where she was going and much more. As the bus approached us, my father asked her to take care. I remember her looking at us and smiling.

During our bus ride, I asked my father, why he always talked to strangers. He replied, “A stranger could be God in disguise…always be kind and good to people, what does one gain by being the opposite?”. Over the years, my imperfect father taught me many valuable lessons. The one that has impacted me the most is – when in doubt, be kind.

I cannot understand a person’s proclivity to see the worst in others…what does one really gain?


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