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Hugs for kindness

Phina So
March14/ 2013

Neath and Varakta gave me a hug before they left the hospital where we went to donate some money to a sick comedian. I was so delighted to receive their hugs and they were very special as if my children were sending a valuable message to me. Later, I realised that I know why.

On 7th March 2013, I saw an article in Koh Santepheap newspaper, a local news. It wrote about a comedian well known for her stage name, Yeay Kley. It reports that she has been sick and very poor.  Usually, such stories are regularly filled in newspapers and it seems that it is a very normal phenomenon. However, I feel uncomfortable seeing the photo. In the photo provided by the news indicates how distressed and depressed the woman is. She was crying over the money donated by her fellow singers. Immediately, I show the picture to my parent and they were surprised and said ‘that is why we haven’t seen her on stage in the last couple of weeks’.

A few moments later, I decided to do something for her. I wanted to raise some money. Initially, I thought at least I could raise $50. I believe that even $20 could help a person with a few day expenses. Then, I started writing on social network (face book) to let my friends know and asked them to contribute. Within three days, I raised 195$. I was so happy.

On 12th March 2013, I and my family including two of my children and a nephew came to the donation. My parents initially worried that the three children would not stay still and that they will interrupt our activities. Instead, the kids behaved too well. They sat down and just watched. After telling her the purpose of my presence, I gave her the money and told her names of the contributors. Suddenly, she became tearful. It was very hard to me as well to control my emotion. I let her continue by padding her right arm many times. She thanked all of her donors. She expressed how she was too excited because of the kindness of strangers whom she never met before. She wishes all the people happiness and healthy.

I also reminded her that I used to work with her when I was working for World Vision Cambodia. We used to invite comedian Choung Chi and his team which Yeay Kley is one of them to perform a number of education scenes at Siem Reap and Preah Sihanouk Vill.

After taking a few photos to show the donors, we wished her and said good bye. I sent a message from a friend who wishes to see her on stage in the near future. She was tearful again as if she is not sure whether she can continue her career. I noticed something good.

Neath, my three year old daughter, rarely Sampeah (an act used to greet) anyone except monks. This time she did a sampeah and I was amazed. After that my two children gave me a big hug as if they want to give me a reward of what I had done that day. Importantly, I felt that their hugs are more than just thank for my kindness but a thank for teaching them about being kind to people in need.

Thank you for my friends who are in Australia (Kanika Kok, Tak Chanpanha & Yim Vymala), in the United States (Hout Kimlin, Ly Samnang & Ly Sampi), and in Cambodia (Sim Socheata, Bo Vibol, and one more who wishes not be named).