Ahmed Janabi

Baghdad, Iraq


The Healing Effect of Kindness

In 2008, Ahmed was going through a dark time in his life, when he decided to visit Paris.

He was living with diabetes and epileptic fits, feeling depressed and having thoughts about ending his life. Ahmed considered optimism as a big lie spun to make people who suffered tough luck forget their misfortunes. He found himself constantly surrounded by negative thoughts.

One day he was walking through one of the most crowded streets of Montmarte with a frown on his face. All around him were people enjoying life with their friends and lovers. Nobody looked at him or saw the frown on his face.

He walked on for a couple of hours, lamenting his sorry life. When suddenly, amidst the crowd he saw an old woman who was looking at him.

quote-openShe smiled deeply at me and my face. She inevitably made my frown bloom into a smile. It was mutual. She was the only person there to share her happiness with me and I was smiling for some time without evening knowing it!quote-close

At the time, Ahmed realized for the first time the true effect of a small act of kindness, one even as small as a smile. He looked through the alley again, but could not find the woman.

Ahmed hopes to someday see her again and tell her thank you because since then his life changed. He began to be known for his smile and positivity. He entered medical school and will soon graduate to heal people and remind them that their smile is always the best remedy!

– Edited by Soumya John

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