Less than 5 minutes to make someone’s day

We hear of gracious people giving up their seats or holding the door open for someone. How often do we give up less than 5 minutes of our time to someone who needs it more than us?

Yesterday, while queuing up at the ICA photo booth, I decided to ‘sacrifice’ less than 5 minutes of my time for someone else.

There were two queues in the small room where the photo booth is located. I strolled in merrily and had a bright smile on my face, glad that I had come during off-peak hours, and that there were only two people in front of me. I reckoned that I would be done in 5 minutes before moving onto my next stop – Teh C at Kopitiam before I head off to complete the rest of my chores.

The heat was unbearable and I told myself that I must get home before rush hour. Just then, I was snapped out of my thought process when an elderly Auntie with a walking stick, some papers and a bag hobbled in. We both smiled at each other. I noticed that Auntie seemed to be in some pain.

Seeing her walking stick, I was concerned that she had nowhere to sit, and wondered if she was aware that there were two queues. I asked her, and she nodded to indicate that she was in the correct queue. This prompted me to ask the young man in front of me and the young lady right at the front of the queue if it was okay for Auntie to go first. Both of them agreed without hesitation.

Our actions brought a big comforting smile to Auntie’s face, and she thanked us all. Slowly but surely, she made her way to the top of the queue, paid the cashier and was soon directed to the photo booth.

While this all happened, I had set my timer. Why, you ask? I wanted to see how much longer it took for the young lady, the young man and me to complete the process after Auntie. Can you guess? You will be surprised! How long do you spend on Facebook or WhatsApp on your smartphone while queuing? At least 5 minutes right? Let me share with you that it took the young lady and young man only 3 minutes longer and at the end of the day, it took me less than 5 minutes longer to get my photos.

So did I make a ‘sacrifice’? Not at all!

Could we give up just less than 5 minutes of our time to look around and be more caring towards those that need it most and make their day?

Submitted by Nutan Shah
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