People say that acts of kindness are so rare these days but this Malaysian's story gives us a glimmer of hope
Jayaselvaganapathy S/O Manimekala recently shared about how his encounter with an elderly man earlier this year had led to him have more faith and hope in people.
It's about how strangers were willing to extend their kind gestures to feed a hungry man.
"21 January 2017, was an unforgettable day for me, because, for the first time, my hope for humanity was rekindled once again."
"I am not telling this just for fame or anything, but I want you all to feel the same as I felt. Helping others, especially those who is in need really a nice deed to do because the satisfaction in it is really precious and indescribable," Jaya told SAYS in an exclusive interview.
It all started when Jaya reached out to an elderly man at a shopping centre in Skudai, Johor a few months ago
"This uncle is quite a well-known person for some because he's super friendly and kind towards others. Usually, my sister will visit him whenever she's free. I've seen some other good-hearted people visit him as well," Jaya said.
He added that his sister would always talk to the man and buy him lunch or breakfast if she met him. The young man said that would also do the same whenever his sister is not around or busy.
So, on that fateful day in January, Jaya chanced upon the elderly man again.
"It was in the morning, I went to AEON at approximately 10.30am. I saw the uncle sitting in front of McDonald's. So I approached him and asked, 'Hi Uncle! What would you like to have today?' He asked for a Filet-o-Fish from McDonald's," the 21-year-old university student said.
Without thinking twice, Jaya went over to the counter to place the order. However, he had forgotten to ask if the elderly man wanted anything to drink.
So, Jaya went back to the uncle, who had then moved over to the dining area, and asked what the man would like for drinks. The uncle replied, "a hot cup of Milo".
Jaya returned to the counter and placed the order.
"At this point, the cashier noticed what was happening and stopped keying-in the orders that I’ve made. He proceeded to ask me, 'Anything else for you sir?, To which I replied, 'Nothing else brother, thank you.'"
Shortly after that, the cashier disappeared into the kitchen area but when he returned to the counter, he was not alone — his manager came along.
"The manager came out and saw the uncle and she nodded her head while looking at the cashier. At this point, I still have no idea what was going on," Jaya recalled.
The next few seconds passed in a blur as Jaya tried to process his thoughts on what was going on
"When the meal was ready, the cashier, instead of handing me the tray, went straight to that uncle and served him the food. I was confused at that point, but I still asked the cashier how much the meal cost."
"And then it happened, the most unforgettable moment in my life."
"The cashier said to me, 'We don't charge for humanity, sir.'"
Jaya was left speechless, surprised, and shocked at the kindness and generosity of the manager and cashier.
"I remained silent for a while before I uttered the words: 'Thank you so much.'
"Isn't it nice to know that, in this generation where everyone is chasing materialistic goals, dreams, and being busy with their restless-career, humanity still exists, through the good-hearted people out there."
The incident left a great impact on Jaya, inspiring him to keep helping people in need, whenever he can
Growing up, the Johor-born has witnessed for himself how his mother struggled alone and nobody came to her aid. Jaya and his four siblings were raised by their single mother, Manimekalai, who worked tirelessly to put food on the table after their father left them when Jaya was only three years old.
"She has struggled a lot by working days and nights just for our happiness. But she never gives up, even when no one else came to help her."
"All the good values and thoughts I have today is all because of my mum because she raised us to be nice and kind towards everyone. She knows the pain of surviving alone when someone we love a lot just left us like that."
His mum taught him to be independent and now, Jaya wants to follow the footsteps of his sister and continue to reach out to those in need
"I'll keep doing this because of my sister, Shamini Raja. She's my inspiration to be a humanitarian."
"I've read many articles and news about wonderful acts from McDonald's in oversea countries but this was the first time I experienced it first-hand. Thank you again, McDonald's, and the kind-hearted manager and cashier."