Kindness is probably humanity’s greatest ever trait. To be kind is to be human. And even in this fast-paced world where people don’t have the time to care for each other, being kind is not only an asset- but also a virtue. For, we may never know what our kindness could result in. In some situations, it could possibly be life-affirming. In fact, it was kindness which stopped a homeless man called Chris from ending his life. How? Well, a woman simply bought him a bagel and a coffee and sat with him. 
Sometimes, offering a kind ear is all that it takes. It might be a very trivial thing for you- but for them, it could be the greatest thing since sliced bread. For, Chris did write a short message for this woman on a tiny piece of paper which truly emphasized his feelings regarding this. “I wanted to kill myself today. Because of u, I now do not. Thank u, beautiful person.”
A snapshot of this heart-rending note became uber viral back in 2016 and was also shared on the ‘Love What Matters’ Facebook page. Since then, the picture has garnered close to 700,000 likes. Interestingly, this message also managed to open up a dialogue between people who spoke about how kindness lifted them up from a particularly depressing point in their lives.
For Chris, this was a moment where he truly believed in life, and himself. For Casey Fischer, who bought him the bagel and the coffee- this was nothing more than just a small token of kindness- something that cost her nothing. And maybe just a tiny little bit of fate- for it was fate that took her to Dunkin Donuts on that eventful day, and it was fate that put Chris just before her.
Kindness Doesn’t Cost A Thing- So Be Kind and Move On
Fischer had been moving towards this cafe when she saw Chris, a homeless man, sitting by the road. From what she could see, he was picking up some loose change. She later explained, “Eventually I saw him stroll into Dunkin, as he was counting his change to buy something I began to get super annoying and talked to him over and over again even when he didn’t really want to talk. Since he had maybe $1 in change I bought him a coffee and bagel and asked him to sit down with me.” After pestering Chris for several moments, the homeless man finally started talking about his life. He went on to state that people were usually very mean to him simply because he was homeless. But all he wanted from life was to “be someone his mom would be proud of.” 
Through their conversation, Chris also opened up about his issues with substance abuse- something that had turned him “into the person he hated”. He spoke about losing his mother to cancer, and how he never knew who his father was. It was also during this conversation that Casey realized that the homeless man’s name was Chris. Later, the woman who showed such incredible kindness stated, “Chris was one of the most honest and sincere people I’ve ever met.”
After chatting with Chris for more than an hour, Casey realized it was time for her to leave for class. While bidding goodbye to Chris, the homeless man asked her to wait so that he could write something down for her. She recalled, “Handing me a crumpled-up receipt, he apologized for having shaky handwriting, smiled, and left.” The receipt carried the note that Casey would probably cherish all her life.
Kindness Is Not As Rare As It Seems
Ever since this story about kindness got shared on the Facebook page, several others came up with their own experiences. One user, Gary Edelmann Jr. wrote, “I am homeless, have been since last year, I was staying under a 275 overpass for 2 weeks. I am now in a program at the Salvation Army and I am doing better now. Just got a job today and start tomorrow so my life is looking better each day. I am not proud of how I ended up here but I am getting myself out of it by the grace of God. Just asking to pray for the homeless and be kind.”
Another individual, Jo Goldstein, went on to state, “I left an abusive situation and for almost 3 years I was homeless and without my two kids, I got a job, my own place and got my kids back. I am now a single mom of 4 and I may be struggling but I am doing okay and I keep going forward.”
Sometimes All One Needs Is A Kind Gaze And A Few Words
Casey’s story of kindness also led Lauri Alexander, a fellow user of Facebook to share her own story. “A few years ago, I was in line at our local post office and behind me in line was an obviously homeless man. He was dirty and obviously hadn’t bathed, combed his hair, or changed clothes in who knows how long. The others in line stood back several feet from him and had a distinct look of disgust on their faces. I hadn’t even noticed him until the woman behind the counter had looked up, saw him and her facial expression grew angry and she rolled her eyes. It was then that I had turned to see what or who had spoiled her day. […]
I asked him how he was doing today, and mentioned it was a beautiful day to be outside.” Later when she was about to get in her car, the same man came up and asked if he could help her. When she was thinking that he might just panhandle her, all the man did was thank her for talking to him nicely- and then went on his way.
It would be pretty easy to assume that kindness never costs a thing- so why should we not indulge in it? So, if you have ever experienced a situation where you were either being kind to someone or receiving someone’s kind help- write to us in the comments below!