Journal Entry 1 (Returned With Interest)

Hello there,

P.S. Its not really considered ‘later’, is it? A few minutes difference. In any case, read this! ^.^ 


Reader’s Digest (August 2009) – Returned With Interest


This was an article that I came across while reading Reader’s Digest. As it is the series that my brother bought, you can tell that it was dated quite a while back.

It is actually a short story written by a working adult in Thailand. It was a sweltering hot midday. The writer explains that she saw an old woman in traditional clothing lying on some rubble. She gave the woman enough money to survive for a few months and immediately felt great. However, the old woman unexpectedly returned it to the writer, eyes seemingly mocking her.

I believe what the title meant was that the old woman not only returned her the unnecessary money, she returned to the writer something else, something much more precious. The old woman taught the writer that kindness should not be displayed by material means.

This is not some new knowledge, we all know this deep inside our heart. Yet despite knowing this, I believe many people, maybe even including me, still when met with such situations, choose to give money with the thought that it could settle everything. What they truly need might just be a warm sincere hug or words of comfort. You do not need to be rich to be able to do things like these, but these things are priceless.

Sincerity. Is that not what kind acts truly mean? When you past by a poor beggar on the road, would you be willing to spare a few moments for him or her, see if you could really help? Would you try to appreciate what he or she tries to do to make a living? Or do you just walk by coldly and throw down some spare change you have in hand? Worse, you give him or her a look of contempt?

Think for just a moment. Yes, the beggar might just thank you for giving him enough to earn himself another meal. However, your cold actions, look of contempt punches a hole in his already broken heart, makes himself feel less confident and worthy. He tries to do something at least to show that he is not blatantly asking for money and yet with that simple act, he will feel as if he was still a beggar, worthless.

I am not judging anyone nor am I saying people are wrong to sacrifice a few coins for them. To say the truth, I might do the same, forget myself. Maybe not looks of contempt, but curiousity at their imperfection might I sometimes give them. Thus, this is merely my opinions on an article I happen to chance upon.

If there are indeed any faults in it, I sincerely apologize and please feel free to comment and criticize my views, I am more than happy to understand what other people think about this article. Thanks. The article is below, do take a look.


Returned With Interest…

“With a group of colleagues, I travelled to the north of Thailand – Chiang Rai. I loved the heat, the chaotic streets, the busy markets and the smell of Thai cuisine.

One day, I set off from my hotel to find a temple that intrigued me. The heat of the midday sun was oppressive as I walked past some building works. I did a double take as I glanced between two unfinished buildings. There, an old woman in traditional clothing lay on the dusty rubble. The terrible thought crossed my mind that she might be dead.

Feeling quite helpless, I approached her. Her face was well wrinkled and sun-kissed. She looked quite beautiful but very ill. As a reflex, I reached into my pocket to find some money. Tentatively, I pushed it into her hand. It was enough money for her to survive for a few months. I felt like the “kind stranger”.

Without a common language, she looked at me with the wisdom and pity that could burn into a soul. She weakly pushed back the money. I was left shocked. Her eyes were mocking me. It took at least a kilometre of walking to realise I was quite the fool. She didn’t need money. She needed shade, a bottle of water and possibly some human comfort.

That evening, I sat analysing my material version of “kindness”. This beautiful woman had given me something that I will carry for the rest of my life. When I look back upon the experience, I hope my face carries that same wise smile that once mocked me.”

Reference from:


By the way, somehow, after writing this post, it reminded me of a song by Carrie Underwood, “Change”. I copied the link down below so you can check it out. It is an amazing song.

A Girl Who Wishes To Live In A Fantasy World



Change – Carrie Underwood:

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