Helping others: A quick way to build self esteem

Have you ever helped a stranger? How does it feel? What did that stranger tell you?

Last week, on one of my regular trips to the library, one such incident happened. I was in the library looking for books to read in the coming week.Usually at these times, I would be lost in the world of books, without noticing what’s going on around me. I will be in a kind of trance standing between tall shelves filled with books, each of them enticing me to read. You have to yell at me or ring the bell indicating that the ‘library is closing’ to bring me back to the present world. But, on that day,I noticed a key chain on the shelf. ‘Honda’ car key with 2 extra keys and a Kroger card were attached to the key chain. Did I leave the keys on the shelf?. That thought immediately brought me back to my senses and I checked my purse. My keys were safely present in my purse. If I had my keys, whose were those on the shelf? Without much thought, immediately I returned  the keys to the front desk and told the librarian where I found them. Then, I got back into my meditation (i.e searching for books).

Around half an hour later, a middle-aged, tired looking man, probably a Chinese, came to me and asked if I was the one who found the keys. I said ‘yes’ wondering why he is asking me. Then for the next couple of minutes he said thank you several times bowing his head each time. He told that the key chain had his car keys and keys to his home and he was shocked when he knew that he lost them. I tried hard to understand his Chinese accent, but he continued thanking me profusely. I was overwhelmed!

At that moment, I realized the magnitude of my action. A small action, which even didn’t require a lot of time or effort on my part, has helped a stranger. If a  small action as simple as returning a lost item can bring so much self-satisfaction, what if we practice random acts of kindness? What if we volunteer to help others? According to an article in, volunteering can help us  live a longer, healthier and happier life.

Helping others makes us feel good. Isn’t it awesome? I’m going to try it out more often. Wouldn’t you?

What is your experience about the same? Share your thoughts.


P.S: In response to daily prompt