Mark Sims

About Mark Sims

Mark is a filmmaker, writer and alien based in Sydney. He enjoys eating, laughing and competing in poetry slams.

Approx Reading Time-10City living is an alienating experience. But just one selfless act can be enough to make or break a day, and remind us how it feels to be human.




They’re oh so precious because they’re oh so rare…

You know what I’m talking about. Those unexpected, kind gestures that come from out of nowhere in a world in a rush to get to who the fuck knows.

With so much technology, information, gossip, deadlines, phones, trains departing in 30 seconds and not-long-until-The-Voice-airs, who has time to look up from a screen and take a moment – a breath even – let alone run over to a complete stranger to assist them with their collapsing grocery bags?

Our own time is too important and they can purchase canvas next time.

Sorry, but that way of thinking is not only cynical, it’s also complete bullshit.

There is always time to look up, to miss that train and catch the next one, to either record The Voice or ditch it completely (please do), and there is always, always time to be human.

We remember negative occurrences so easily. We complain about them with friends, work colleagues and our family. Lukewarm coffees, -5 temperatures and people just generally being horrible. It can often unite in a cacophony of bad vibes and self-pity, lingering in our minds. However, after a day or two they’re usually forgotten about until the next time.

It is our positive encounters with people though – no matter how rare they may seem – that tend not to escape our memories at all.

These moments can often inspire, comfort, reinvigorate and restore our faith in humanity, no matter how big or small such moments may be.

I am certain I will never see him again, but then, I don’t need to. What’s important is that I was inspired by his selflessness to commit similar acts myself

I’ve lived in Sydney for a while now and I’ve seen some pretty amazing things. Some gross things also, but to be totally honest, I can’t remember any of them. I can only remember the good. And there’s one that’s stuck with me.

It was roughly four years ago and I was at Erskineville train station, heading to a place I can’t recall. After having troubles with the ticket machine that didn’ t agree with my $5 note, I let the guy behind me go next while I pondered what on earth to do.

I was just about to head off in a bid to get some coins when the guy in front turned around and presented me with a gift.

“Here you are,” he said.

In his hand was a train ticket for where I was headed.

It turned out this stranger had not only spotted and remembered my destination, but had decided to purchase a ticket for me.

“Thanks” was all I could say. I felt like Charlie Bucket, struggling to find words.

Yes, I know it was just a $3.20 train ticket and not a coveted pass to Willy Wonka’s factory, but this was something this man didn’t need to do, an act that was never expected, and something that never left my mind.

I am certain I will never see him again, but then, I don’t need to. What’s important is that I was inspired by his selflessness to commit similar acts myself, and am now forever on the lookout for someone who has opted for plastic bags over canvas…

So next time you’re out and about, take a look around, breathe in and prepare yourself. You may either be the giver or receiver of a much needed selfless act.


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