In a day and age where nursing homes and old age homes have become the unwritten norm to voluntarily or involuntarily send one's aging parents to, there are still quite many senior citizens who are comfortable living on their own, with meagre means and demands.
But undeniably, they are either in a pitiless state, ignored or are dependent on other's mercy for the simplest of chores, be it making a telephone call. But what's more important is that they need one's companionship more than any materialistic demands.
|Mark D'Souza serving kind helpings to one of his seniors. |
I read about his deeds of kindness in Mumbai Mirror's Heroes where he was one of the nominees to be considered as one of the winners. He might not have won, but his deeds are so selfless and touching that he is the not hero, but superhero to me.
This man is not just another elderly man. In fact, he says "When you grow old yourself, only then can you understand the difficulties that come with it"
After his parents passed away, Mark wanted to do something for senior citizens like him. And so backed by his wife (who gave him her savings of Rs 5000 to get started) he started cooking full day meals for elders who can't cook or fend for themselves for sustenance.
He cooks and serves simple meals to the elderly, with less oil and spices that is served with a generous dollop of love - one that not only feeds the stomach, but feeds the soul. And he does this at no charge whatsoever!
All by himself, he does not have any strong backing but does it purely out of his own choice and the goodness of his heart. He was simply spurred by the thought of helping those who cannot help themselves. The same philanthropic thought that occurs to us upon reading or hearing a situation of distress, was the same thought that provoked Mark to take action and reach out to those needing aid.
He is called Guardian Angel by all of the 30 odd seniors he serves food daily, come hell or high water. And what does Mark receive in return, the smiles of their content faces knowing that they will be sleeping on a full stomach.
What inspires me about Mark's story, is that he may not one who is affluent by wealth or powerful by stature, but his simple and thoughtful act of kindness to those helpless, unrelated to him and with no ulterior or underlying motive is truly heroic. There may be many who would throw wads of cash to self run NGOs and wear t-shirts that signify 'blatant show-off' of so-called philanthropy, but there is nothing more heart rendering than an act of kindness that is selfless and soul touching.
This is one such positive story that tells us that the world is not so bad after all. It has angels like Mark. Such and more positive stories of change are showcased on Youth Ki Awaaz.
And so inspired by this story and this chance given to me by IndiBlogger and Youth ki Awaaz's #SpreadTheVibe campaign, I appeal to my readers to share such wonderful superhero stories with me that will be published periodically on my blog: Survival of the Optimist under #100StoriesOfOptimism
#100StoriesofOptimism Project is my pet project endeavor to showcase stories that promote hope and optimism when there are many people who think the outlook of this world is very bleak.
Through 100 stories, I am to touch many lives and inspire them, just how Mark inspired me, to instill the faith that there is good in this world after all!