After very satisfying swim laps, I stopped by at a store to buy a couple of mini containers to put my post-swimming moisturiser in. There were several kinds on display on bottom shelves so I squatted down and examined one by one to see which one fits the best for the texture. A woman next to me asked me to confirm whether the product she was holding was mascara. I said it was, thinking the Korean text description might be too small for some people to read, as my mum often asks me to read things written on products. Then I heard noises from the cashier counter. Something that always bothered me; open-mouth eating noise. The more I tried to focus on my product choosing, the more I got obsessed with the worst pet peeve of mine. A guy was having a trivial conversation with either his wife or mum with his mouth open stuffed with food. I couldn’t stand it any longer so I picked one and took it to the cashier. My eyes automatically turned to the origin of the noise and there I saw him! Familiar face from my middle school days back in 2000s. I didn’t look twice as I feared he might recognise me. I greeted kindly to the cashier and got out.
What does it mean to be kind to someone? I remember having learned to be kind but I don’t remember being taught what kindness is. Instead, my elementary school teacher told me to hold hand of someone who’s handicapped. She never told me why it’s a good thing or how it helps him feel better. 20 years later, I learned that kindness isn’t about holding hands and that it only discouraged me from showing the act of kindness.