As a psychotherapist, I usually find myself in a position of helping others.
Perhaps unconsciously, I had come to see my default role as a provider of compassion and support, rather than as its recipient, which is why, when recent circumstances placed me in a physically vulnerable position in need of consideration, I was emotionally overwhelmed by the many spontaneous acts of kindness I received from strangers.
Having undergone knee surgery to repair my meniscus, I was dependent on a leg brace and walking stick for about a week.
The sight of a lady hobbling around with a heavy-looking bag must have tugged on the heartstrings of the many people who came forward to offer their kindness - from the people in a taxi queue who insisted that I go ahead of them to the security guard who assisted me with my bags despite his own advanced age to the little boy who chased after my dog when it bolted out of my garden.
The most touching experience for me was when an elderly gentleman, himself physically frail and using a walking stick, supported me as I climbed a flight of stairs.
There were many more little acts of kindness that I received during the week of my recovery.
But more than their physical actions, it was the genuine care with which these people offered their time and energy that moved me tremendously. I saw compassion in their faces and heard it in their voices.
In the bustle of our busy lives, it is perhaps easy to overlook or discount such goodness.
But to see only the negatives would make us cynical and emotionally numb as individuals and as a society.
These recent personal experiences have reaffirmed my faith in the good that exists all around us.
Life does appear brighter when we choose to open our eyes to goodness, no matter how small. There is undeniable beauty and love in the world, in our society and, most importantly, in each of our hearts.
Jessica Leong (Dr)