Sometimes the simplest act of kindness can make the biggest difference in a person’s life. This sweet flight attendant did just that by helping feed a physically disabled man during a flight. The man was moved to tears.
It was the Christmas season back in 2015 when Niu, a 71-year old man with physical challenges, was set to fly on Hainan Airlines. Things weren’t easy for the elderly man, who had recently suffered a stroke. His guardian angel turned out to be a young flight attendant.
10. Retired Professor
Nui is a retired professor of medicine who uses a wheelchair. After his stroke, he couldn’t quite grip a spoon. Nui’s wife is his caretaker and she got her husband a priority seat so that he could easily access the bathroom. But the airline sat them apart, which meant she couldn’t help Nui eat.
9. Fast Reaction
Flight attendant Fan Xuesong was an attentive and caring person. She immediately noticed that Nui was having difficulty eating the rice snack that was given to passengers. She substituted the rice for a box of noodles which would be easier for him to chew. When Fan kneeled down to hand Nui the box, he teared up.
8. A Helping Hand
Nui was so grateful that he started to cry. A passenger who witnessed the event was so moved by what happened that he took photographs of it and uploaded them to social media. The photos show the flight attended patiently helping Nui eat.
7. Honoring Elders
Asked to comment, Fan said “Mr. Niu worked hard his whole life and contributed to the society, we should be kind to him.” This reflects a widespread belief in China that we should honor our elders for giving us life. Children are legally obligated to take care of their parents, and parents can even sue their children for abandonment.
6. Filial Piety
Filial piety is a core virtue of Confucianism, which is the philosophy created by Confucius. Respecting parents, elders, and ancestors is a value which is widely held in Chinese culture. The Chinese celebrate aging rather than trying to defeat it.
5. Respect for the Aged Day
The idea of respecting your elders is also a serious thing in Japan, where they have Respected for the Aged Day on the third Monday of September. This is an actual national holiday where people take the day off work to celebrate their elders. They throw feasts, provide entertainment and visit nursing homes.
4. Tears and Relief
Many passengers were emotional watching Fan and Nui together. She didn’t want accolades for her actions; in her mind, she was just doing her job. But Nui said she deserved the praise. “Someone tried to take her picture and she asked them not to. I couldn’t help but cry as she helped me eat, blew my nose and wiped away my tears.”
3. A Word of Thanks
Nui also said he would like to thank Fan for her assistance. “I do not know the girl’s name but given the chance I would thank her again,” said Niu. The photographs of the event were uploaded to Weibo, which is a Chinese social media platform. It was shared by millions of people. Even the airline shared the photos on social media, touting their customer service and caring.
2. Real Service
Fan commented on the incident as well. “When I started to feed him dinner, he suddenly felt touched and started to cry.” She reacted with warmth and grace. As someone else observe, “Real service does not depend on the training and requirements, it is heartfelt feelings.”
1. Paying it Forward
“Pay it forward” is an expression which describes how the beneficiary of a good deed can repay it to others instead of to the original benefactor. Have you considered paying it forward by doing a random act of kindness? If every person made a conscious effort to show compassion, society would undoubtedly be a better place.