The poet John Keats once wrote “a thing of beauty is a joy forever”. Personally, I think an act of kindness is a joy forever, the more simple and altruistic the better. Whenever I’m in a really bad mood, the best course of action is to make a small donation, or to help someone else out for no reward. It’s amazing how quickly you’ll start to feel better.
The thing you do for someone else might seem small and inconsequential, but these deeds have a trickle-down effect, especially if the recipient of your charity is someone who has nothing else to brighten their day.
For someone at the bottom struggling to survive, this could be something as small as a kind word or conversation. It could mean a hot meal and a warm bed, new clothes, or even somewhere to bathe in peace and private. For one man, that act of kindness was something most of us take for granted, but it moved him to tears.
The majority of us might regard a haircut as a boring chore. But for Jose Antonio, a man living on the streets of Majorca, a haircut was enough to make him break down and cry.
Jose Antonio is a 55-year-old former electrician, who lost his job after suffering from severe depression that he couldn’t recover from. Antonio lost everything he had and ended up living on the streets for nearly 25 years, barely getting by working as an unlicensed parking attendant.
That was when Salva Garcia, owner and operator of the local hair salon called La Salvajeria, spotted the unfortunate Antonio and decided to give him a free makeover, with incredible results. So incredible that he started weeping uncontrollably when he saw his own reflection.
Before Salva started chopping with the scissors Antonio said: “Leave the doors over the mirror open for the moment so I can see myself for the last time like this. Close them to see if, when they open again, it’s as if something else has really opened up in my life, like a symbol.” Upon seeing his changed appearance, Antonio exclaimed: “This is incredible, is this me? I’m so different, no one’s going to recognise me unless I tell them who I am.”
The video was shared on YouTube by filmmaker Dr Filmgood, who has since reported that Antonio is no longer living on the streets after receiving financial aid from a charity who recognised his plight after viewing the footage. “It wasn’t just a change of look. It changed my life. What I want now is a proper job,” Antonio stated in a recent interview with a Spanish TV station.