random acts of kindness

it took a lot of effort on my part to play the part of the scrooge and the grouch this holiday season when i refused to respond to the forwards a whole bunch of friends and strangers sent to me. as has been my habit ever since i owned a mobile phone, i ignore, almost completely, unoriginal SMS compositions of people. i think there is nothing remotely suggesting thoughtfulness when you press a series of buttons to basically send a generic message to everyone particularly not of your own making. i make it a point to only acknowledge those which i know were written specifically for me. as it is, i am already such a stingy texter. my aversion for truncating words more than makes up for my habit to respond only to messages which by their nature expect replies. but that’s an idiosyncrasy which i think shouldn’t be emulated by others.

it does not help, of course, that i received quite a number of greetings from folks whose names do not appear in my phonebook. either i have never really saved their numbers, or i’ve deleted them altogether, either because i’ve never heard from them for over half a year, or that i’ve had to free up some space to accommodate other contacts. too bad some names have been relegated to the long list of candidates for deletion, only because i could not see any reason to continue keeping their numbers. while i am curious to find out who these guys are, i am not too interested to find out who manage to remember me only once a year, when everyone’s particularly concerned about reminding everyone else that they still exist. so i don’t SMS back “who you?” or worse, “hu u”. i absolutely abhor that. in order not to offend, i used to have a roundabout way of asking for the person’s identity, particularly when they seem to be familiar with me, so i’d ask, “hey what are you doing now?” i’d usually guess who the person is after another message or two. eventually, i’d just ask, rather respectfully, “may i know who this is please? i seem to have lost your number.”

that notwithstanding, i don’t quite understand why i’ve decided not to send anyone the mandatory greetings for the season. i am not completely thoughtless, i would suppose, but i’ve always preferred other mediums to convey greetings. i still very much prefer to write my thoughts down on a piece of paper. and i don’t buy hallmark cards. i do write letters. and i’ve sent out quite a lot until things like email and the internet diminished their practicality.

quite honestly, i pretty much prefer random acts of kindness: when other people touch my life in whatever way when it is least expected. because i am also like that, and i like myself when i manage to make people smile even when there’s no special occasion.
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