Text size: A A A

Please Click Here
to Return to
Love and Light

Region 1 - Young Adults Programme

In this month's YAP we tried to incorporate the message of “Spread the love” by performing some random acts of kindness to those we felt might need some cheering up. The location we chose was Hyde Park in Central London, a place we hoped would have people who might be more receptive to random strangers coming up to them and offering them something. The group met up outside the park at the Marble Arch and came up with a plan.

First we went to the local Sainsbury’s and purchased various items that we could give to people. These included fruits, flowers, chocolates, crisps, water and juice. Then we sat down and created some compliments charts. Each chart contained perforated sections which had compliments written on them. We pinned these charts up on locations that are easily visible in the hopes that people would look at them and tear a section off to give to a loved one, hopefully making their day.

So far everything was going according to plan, but it was when we started giving out the items that we hit a snag. Try as we might, almost no one would take anything from us. We only managed to give out the flowers completely, whereas the food and drink was left virtually untouched. It was then that we arrived at a conclusion. In this western world we have been conditioned to never accept anything from strangers for free. If someone were to approach us with free items we automatically get suspicious.

Having realised that we would never be able to distribute the food to the general public, we approached some police officers just getting off duty, who were grateful for our contribution. Finally we decided to find homeless people around the area and offer the food to them. On our search, a group of women, who live in homeless shelters found us, and asked for the rest of our food, as they had many children between them, we therefore happily gave them the rest. However, these women, also asked us if we could get them some more items. In the nature of the moment, we decided to lovingly oblige. We agreed to buy some, baby milk formula, and nappies for them. The ladies, then asked us to buy more items, however we had come to the end of our allocated time for the day, and we had already gone over our allocated amount of items, so we had to lovingly decline any more service and part ways.

This was a very interesting experience for us, even though we felt great helping people in need, we also felt a feeling of pressure, being directly asked for specific items, and being put on the spot. We then realised that this is the reason why Swami has clearly stated many times not to ask people for money. This is why when doing service, we shouldn’t have any limits to our levels of service, however we should always be fully aware of our own capacity, so we can comfortably do our service without incurring any extra burdens in our lives.

Before concluding our session, we theorised that if we were to do this again, we would set up a stall instead of approaching people ourselves. After all it is a lot easier when someone comes up to you, rather than when you have to go up to them.

Raghav Viswanathan
Wimbledon Sai Centre