One of the cities I visited during my 9-month working holiday in the United States was Washington DC. And of course, when you’re in Washington, you have to visit The White House. Naturally, it is a huge tourist attraction and when I got there, there were queues and queues of people waiting to go in. Big, muscular security guards were admitting people in groups of about 25 at a time. I had limited time in the city and didn’t want to spend what I estimated would be at least 2 hours in a queue. I decided that as I was on my own, it might not be too difficult to slot into a group much further up the line. I approached one of the guards, explained my situation and asked him if I could join the group that was going in next. And he said yes! He could easily have turned me away and told me to wait my turn, but instead he showed understanding and simple human kindness. It is a gesture I still remember today, 22 years later.
The life lesson learnt here is that sometimes, a seemingly small and insignificant act or gesture can make a huge difference in someone’s life. We should all practice random acts of kindness every day.