Mathias is my mentor, friend, hands down one of the most amazing and inspiring person I’ve ever met.
Its been about 4 months since I’ve last saw him and yes, his hair is still as long, black and silky.
We had dinner and took a leisure stroll to Emerald Hill for drinks. Or at least , I was the one doing the strolling while he was like an oversized kid running about with his Leica, marching up to people and stuffing his camera in their face. Till this day, I am still amazed that no one punches him for doing that…
It is always fascinating to watch him work and look at what he sees as it really makes me push the way I shoot.
As his famous advise to me goes, ‘Don’t be afraid.’
On our way to Emerald, we passed two women trying to make heads and tails of a map. Honestly, I only noticed them when he broke off our conversation and turned back to ask them if they needed help.
Turns out, they were tourists from China and were hopelessly lost.
After helping them figure out how to get back to their hotel
thank you google maps, they happily trotted along to the nearest bus stop. We continued strolling and soon caught them at the bus stop with another dilema. They only had a 10SGD note with them, the money changers were closed for the day thus they do not have enough money for a taxi ride back nor the coins for a bus fare.
It was about half past 10 and most of the shops in Orchard were closed. I was just about to suggest that they could change their 10SGD note for coins at a bar in Emerald when Mat took out his card holder which he calls a wallet and shoved them two 2SGD note. No questions asked.
I guess it really caught them off guard as they thanked him profusely and got him to accept their 10RMB note. He shrugged, smiled just like he always did and later made a joke about it by asking the waiter if the bar accepted RMB -.- Thats Mathias for you…
As I reflected on his actions later that night, my mind went back to a similar act of kindness that happened to me in Thailand.
I was dying of dehydration as I had been shooting under the unforgiving sun the entire day while it threatened to burn me alive.
I was a small step to a certain heat stroke when a lady offered me a bottle of water. I don’t know her name and I’ll probably never see her again in my life but she offered me, this stranger a bottle of water and a smile.
Its these kind of moments where you see the beauty of people at its finest, that such kindness and generosity exists in this world. Honestly speaking, who would actually notice and help a dehydrated photographer? Just as Mat noticed the two women who were lost and went out of his way to help them.
If you ask why on God’s great green earth would he bother to help them, I guess his answer would be that someone else helped him before and since he is in a position to help, why not?
To end off, what acts of kindness have you received today and will you pass them on? I know I will(: