Comment: Kindness inspires others to do good

Robert Aiken from Glenrothes who hands out free Mcdonalds on Princes Street to the homeless. Picture: Toby Williams
Robert Aiken from Glenrothes who hands out free Mcdonalds on Princes Street to the homeless. Picture: Toby Williams
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there is something really heart-warming about Robert Aitken’s one-man crusade to feed the homeless on Princes Street.

It is not just that his decision to spent £70 of his hard-earned money on meals for the city’s rough-sleepers was admirable – although it undoubtedly was that. Or that he chose to spend hours of his time on a Friday night, when most of his mates would have been out enjoying themselves, chatting to them as he handed out the food.

Edinburgh fast food worker paid for dozens of meals for homeless

The 24-year-old – who works at two jobs in order to be able to spend his money like that – is clearly a very compassionate and impressive individual.

But what is even more inspiring than one man’s good deed is the way in which it has touched other people around the world. After choosing to tell his friends on Facebook how he had spent Friday night, Robert’s post has gone viral, being shared more than 70,000 times, with word of his actions now spreading around the world. The simple gesture of solidarity with those less fortunate than himself has touched the hearts of countless strangers who have never met him.

Actions like his are comforting to the rest of us because they remind us all of how much good there is in the world beyond our doorstep. It is always good to be reminded of the fact that most people when you scratch the surface are decent and caring human beings.

But Robert’s good deed has done more than fill empty stomachs and give a few of us a bit of a warm feeling inside. His Friday night mission has become an inspiration to others who have started sending money to him so that he can do it all again. More than £1000 has been pledged by wellwishers to Robert so that he can buy even more food for those in need on the streets of the Capital.

We often think of the Internet as being a place where danger lurks, but it is also a powerful tool for bringing us together to do good.