Last Monday night I had my bag of groceries stolen and I bought a burger for a stranger – both happening at the same time.
It was meant to be.
One of the two acts of kindness was a spontaneous social experiment.
There’s such a thing called “Relative Karma” and “Averting Bad Karma”.
I just finished a last minute grocery shopping. I was craving for a McFlurry which I did not have during the many months of lockdown. So I parked and locked my bicycle some 5 meters from the entrance of the busiest McDonald’s outlet in Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur.
I thought I do a little spontaneous social experiment. What if I leave a small blue Ikea bag of groceries on the back tray of my bicycle. Let’s see if people are honest or if a desperate person may choose to steal someone’s groceries because the person may be hungry. It was a unique, uncommon social experiment and an act of kindness.
I took my backpack and left the bag of groceries in the back tray, but I tried not to suspiciously glance now and then to check on the bag, while waiting in the outside queue to the front window fast take away counter, near the front entrance.
When I reached in front of the window, there was a short, gentle, elderly Indian lady waiting on the right side of the take-away window. Earlier I saw a middle-aged Chinese guy came from nowhere and stuffed one or two ringgit banknotes into her hand, left and then seemingly looking for some homeless men sitting on the floor 5 meters away. She got an ice cream and started eating it. She kept asking for a burger from the counter staff but was ignored.
I asked her if she was ok and started a conversation. After one minute she asked me if I could buy her a burger, she looked really hungry. I did not have dinner yet but I thought she needed a burger much more than me. I do help out ‘lost souls’. So I asked what she wanted and ordered a chicken burger. I waited with her at the entrance to make sure she actually got her order.
I found out her name is Ann Thomas, from Ipoh. She studied in Main Convent Ipoh. I shared my hometown is also Ipoh and studied in St. Michael’s Institution. She is 75 years old, never married, she stayed alone in her own house in Setapak some 8 kilometers from Bukit Bintang, inherited from her deceased parents. She is not homeless. She dressed decently. Her only sister was also deceased and lived in Penang. I asked she have any relatives, she said she doesn’t want to bother her family and relatives.
I know some of you may obviously be wondering or judging her why she is asking for free meals when she owns a house. Well, someone may own a house or own a fancy car but during Covid-19 they may not be having any income for one and a half years since the lockdown started. Many people around the world and in Malaysia, where it is one of world’s highest new daily cases per capita, are raising a white flag in front of their home to indicate they are need help or food.
She said she is a Catholic, she goes to any catholic church, and she just came from praying at the nearby St John’s Cathedral. I shared I believe in Angels who give us blessings, who help and guide us. She too believes and prays to Angels.
I felt I wanted to give her my only Angel Brenda blessings and memorial card kept always in my wallet. The card was old and tattered, but she accepted it and put straight into her shirt pocket. In the future I will carry some Angel Brenda’s blessing cards in my backpack to give anyone, stranger or friend, whom I feel connected to.
Her burger was ready and called out for collection. I asked her why don’t she eat it while it’s hot. She said she will take it home, have a shower and heat it up.
I wish her blessings, protection and guidance from our Guardian Angels, and we said our goodbyes. While eating my soft ice cream, I watched and followed her from some distance. She approached a nearby Arab food outlet in Jalan Berangan aka Arab Street. After 3-4 minutes she got a takeaway bag. I did not want to check out from the outlet whether if she bought it or she pestered them for a free meal. She walked to the nearest bus stop to take a bus home.
I went back to get my bicycle. And the blue bag of groceries was stolen! I was totally distracted by the elderly lady that I forgot about my social experiment.
My initial surprise turned into reflection about Karma, life lessons, and a deep moving meditation. It has never happened before. The bag had less than RM20 or $5 of groceries, a vegetable, a small half price expiring papaya, a bag of Roma cream crackers, and a bottle of dish-washing liquid. I pondered whoever it is, must have needed my bag of groceries much more than I do. One must be real desperate to steal someone’s groceries, in this current worst depression crisis since the Second World War.
I had deep gratitude that I am not starving or that desperate to steal someone’s groceries.
I remember a friend of mine had HK$5,000 pick-pocketed and stolen from her backpack which she put by her feet at McDonald’s in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, one the world’s busiest McD outlets.
There is such a thing as Relative Karma and Averting Karma.
“Relative Karma” is about the various degrees of the return of Karma. Just like in the criminal courts, the punishment is relative to the severity of the case and the status of the victim. “Averting Bad Karma” is suffering a Lesser Bad Karma by averting and preventing a Bigger Karma, such as a serious accident, long-term sickness, loss, divorce, and even death.
I think to myself what a wonderful world, with all its ups and downs, the Yin and the Yang, and the changing of seasons.
Written by: Robren
Published on: 10th September 2021.
Updated: 11th September 2021.
Robren created “The Robren Code”, a spiritual and personal growth program about the secret code of angels, symbols, love, health, wealth, wisdom and peace. This is culmination of the most insightful wisdom Robert gained since the age of 7 when his Odyssey or spiritual journey began, up to 2013 when he took one year to crack the secret code of Angels as the sceptical Angel Whisperer to Angel Brenda.
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