When I first saw the French movie “Le Fabuleux Destin Le Amelie Poulain,” I am instantly astonished. It maybe for the fact that the main actress (Audrew Tautou) gave justice to the character so much that I can’t think of anyone else playing the role; she’s also cute.The story is quite simple. She accidentally discovered a small tin box of childhood memorabilia in her apartment. After asking her neighbors, she found out that the box is hidden by a boy who lived in her apartment years ago. Realizing it is important to the boy – now an old man – she embarked on a quest to find him.
With the help of her neighbor, she successfully found the person. Preferring to be anonymous, she put the box on an empty telephone booth and rings the number when the person passed by it. He picked up the phone and saw the box. He was moved to tears instantly. Amelie never stopped there, she followed the man and observed him secretly. She saw the positive effect she had on him. In that moment, she devoted her life bringing happiness to others. To make the story short, she became some sort of a “happiness-agent,” bringing happiness to others by helping them and thereby making her happier in the process. Her actions dramatically changed her life forever.
Amelie had altruism, or showing unselfish concern for the welfare of others. It is the motivation in a person to help others by doing good things without expecting any kind of reward.
I’m sure we can also emulate what Amelie did. Simple acts of kindness to someone is very easy to do and takes away little or no resources. By helping others, we can appreciate what we have and realize that we are more fortunate than others. Mother Theresa, a Nobel laureate and a humanitarian has a say on this:
“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one. ” -Mother Theresa.
After all, helping others is not about the amount or volume, it is the compassion we share with others. Happiness cannot be extracted from the act of kindness if we give more than we desire to.
There is a story in the Bible about a poor woman who gave her last money as an offering to God. She gave it with all her heart yet she felt happier and blessed than others who give more but with an intention of being seen as socially wealthy. If we apply it in our daily lives, a small act of kindness like helping a elder cross the street (just like what Amelie did) makes both the giver and taker happy. The elder has difficulty crossing the road, one wrong move can send him to his death, no matter how small it is, someone helping him makes difference between life an death. It may not be big for the helper but for the one helped, it is some kind of a gift from above.
On the other hand, there are several studies attesting having a helping attitude prolongs life. Scientists, psychologist and philosophers have been debating on this topic for several years but the bottom line is having a generous helping hand is beneficial to one’s and others happiness.
“A good exercise for the heart is bending down and helping someone to get up.” -Proverbs