When you were younger, your parents told you not to talk to strangers. Not the worst advice. Yet, have your neighbours become strangers? What should you do?
After launching the next five films of the 15 Shorts project, one film stood out.
Not because there was a ‘superhero’ giver.
Here stood an ordinary man named Kelvin, a senior sales executive who started a conversation with his security guard. Ordinary and incidental, he exemplifies the spirit of why and how giving may just seem like the ‘normal’ thing to do – if you take the signs that life points to you.
It starts with reaching out
Fairly disillusioned with his job, Kelvin has turned to smoking as a form of escapism. He frequently smokes right outside his condominium. One day, Shanti, the condominium’s security guard, finds him smoking in the compound. She informs that it is illegal to smoke there, and requests him to move. That was Kelvin’s first impression of Shanti.
Whilst this short film is based on a true story in the 1990s, the dot-com bubble has further evolved into the digitalised world we know of today. For teenagers, Snapchat has become the new norm of how you would ‘hang out’ – which makes it even more significant when a face-to-face conversation with a stranger leaves an impression.
Don’t expect giving to always feel good
Building on that point about social media, giving seems to easily become just another hashtag or a post to be liked. That builds a false level of expectation that giving is all smiles and feel good vibes. As you give and offer neighbourliness or kindness to a stranger, you foster a relationship with them and you understand more about the conditions that they are bound to. Giving can be or feel difficult, so do not feel daunted when you feel overwhelmed.
Giving will push you out of your comfort zone
There is a humorous scene when Kelvin arrives at Shanti’s flat. Shanti is hospitalised, so he has to bring food for her children. Even more strangers? And they are mini versions of other strangers? Gulp!
For Kelvin, as he understood more about the issues which Shanti faced as a low-income family, he had to get out of his comfort zone and try to assist the family. Whilst it may feel uncomfortable at first, it ultimately brings Kelvin more joy and life than he had before.
Just as you change a life, your life will change
The act of giving is two-way. It is not just the one with ‘wealth’ that gives to the poor, but how the poor brings wealth to the giver – even if it is not in material terms.
As aforementioned, Kelvin was a disgruntled sales representative. He was wearing nice clothes and he had a nice office to work in. Despite what appeared to be external conditions to make someone happy and fulfilled, what made him look forward day-to-day was seeing Shanti’s children. Ultimately, the act of giving fulfilled him as a person.
I may have given a few spoilers. Oops! But hopefully, that sums up why you shouldn’t be afraid to start giving! I may have given a few spoilers. Oops! But hopefully, that sums up why you shouldn’t be afraid to start giving!
Since December is Giving Season, there’s no better time to start.
Plus, Shanti by Chong Yu Lun (renowned for youtube channel Butterworks) will be released on 17 December.
Mark the date, spread the message and share to your loved ones across this Christmas and New Year.
Scared you’ll forget? Like 15 Shorts on Facebook for the latest updates about the project.