It was an exciting day for Tom. He had signed up for the school’s annual road run, the sports event that he had been looking forward to. The invigorating scent of fresh crisp air and dewdrops invaded his nostrils as he breathed in the morning air while jogging briskly down the designated pathway. Tom had trained for months to get his body used to the rigour. He was very keen to snag up the top prize – two hundred dollars worth of shopping vouchers.
Tom had planned a way that he could win. For the first four kilometres, he had to pace himself so that he would have enough energy for the last kilometre. There were many water points along the path, giving him plenty of opportunities to hydrate himself. For the last kilometre, he would speed up for a strong finish. This plan had surged his confidence by leaps and bounds.
Bang! The gunshot signalled the start of the race. Runners sped off in a jiffy, while Tom started with a jog, pacing himself accordingly. Everyone’s stamina would just fade off. Tom thought to himself and gave a sheepish grin.
Along the way, Tom noticed an old lady pushing her cart with gnarled fingers and trembling legs, while trying to go up a slope. Tom tried to keep his focus on the run but seeing her weather-beaten face which shows years of hardship under the relentless sun, the sight broke his heart. No one was willing to help the poor old lady with her heavy cart.
Tom hesitated for a moment. “I will certainly lose if I stop and help the old lady,” Tom mumbled under his breath. Just then, his mother’s advice crept into his mind: Kindness begets kindness. When you have the opportunity to be kind to others, please do not hesitate to do so. In the end, Tom chose to heed his mother’s wise words.
After Tom helped the old lady reach her destination, the old lady thanked Tom profusely for his great help.
At that moment, the last few runners were passing Tom. He realised that he was far away from the front runners. Although he knew that he would not win, he wanted to finish the race.
When Tom reached the finishing line, he heard loud applause. They were already announcing the winners. He waited patiently for the ceremony to end when he heard his name. “Tom Yeo, please step up onto the stage,” the announcer announced. Tom walked up the stage. The principal smiled at Tom and told the entire hall that he had exemplified one of the school’s core values and the entire hall rose to a standing ovation. Tom’s mother watched on at the side, with a broad smile on her face. Tom knew he had done well, even though he did not win the cash vouchers. It was truly an event to remember.