It Is More Important To Be Kind than Clever

I have been a member of IAM Group Limited for 4 years and in that span of time, I have dealt with a lot of people of different backgrounds and personalities.

In my second year, I met a couple from Japan in our weekly volunteer meetings. They have just enlisted as members and were gladly expressing their gratitude to extend their help. At that time, the charity event that we are planning to visit was for home for those elderly people who were abandoned by their family in a nursing home. The couple also introduced their son, Eric, a ten-year old handsome boy who only talks about going back to Yokohama and hating Seoul. He was such an irritating boy that it was evident that his parents were also annoyed. They have actually reprimanded him many times during the course of the briefing.

In the duration of the meeting, I noticed Eric being aloof to other kids. He just sat in one side of the room, playing with his tablet and being secluded from the rest of the team. Many kids had tried approaching him but all of them leaves him after some terse replies. I tried my luck during break time.

Upon talking to him, I realize he is a very clever child, intelligent even on the way he would analyse things before answering. Nevertheless, I still considered the way he talks as rude and arrogant.

On the day that IAM Group Ltd. had come to the home for the elderly, Eric’s parents were so excited but their thrill at doing the charity work didn’t seem to affect their son’s arrogant and distant behaviour. His mom tried to coax him to join the group activities with the other kids to no avail. I can see them regretting ever bringing him in the charity work.

During break time, all of us tried knowing the elderly people. Some of them were still sharp to think while some were already undergoing dementia. Among them was an old lady who seemed to be secluded from the group who was just sitting silently and smoking near the door. I think she was the one who really caught Eric’s attention as he was constantly staring at her from time to time.

I was watching him from a near distance when he approached the old lady and said, “Don’t you know that smoking that cigarette can lessen the years that you may actually still live? You are going to die soon anyway so why are you wasting the time you are still living?”

I was shocked and so were Eric’s parents who witnessed the whole thing, snatched their son angrily, said sorry and drove out of the home. The old woman just held her cigarette and suddenly burst into tears. We never saw the couple and their child ever again.

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