No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. is attributed to Aesop and the fable of The Lion and the Mouse.
Today, I’m pleased to bear witness to a good deed done by an unknown stranger. The act of kindness in question strikes me as quite likely completely altruistic as I can’t readily conceive of a plausible mechanism by which they might have hoped to derive any personal benefit.
S. and I had gone out for dinner and, afterwards, walked to an ATM outside a sprawling one-story shopping center. We were sheltered from a light misting rain by a concrete canopy that extended a few meters from the building’s exterior. At intervals, square holes like unglazed skylights allowed light and rain through and the vertical faces of the stucco in and beneath the apertures were unevenly coated with algae.
Wing-beats and chirping noises drew my eyes upwards and I was surprised to see that a family of birds had made their nest in a woven bamboo basket resting on a galvanized steel junction box mounted on the inner rim of the roof overhang, opposite the ATM we were using.
The basket hadn’t been blown up there by a fluke wind or deposited there by the birds themselves. Someone had positioned it and lashed it down to the dead-end junction box with a strip of the same kind of black plastic material used in Hong Kong’s construction industry to fasten together the bamboo poles used for scaffolding here.