The Kindness of others

Last week I was in a training in Minneapolis MN, I had flown into MN on Weds, and I left late on last Monday evening.  I was blessed with the generosity of a fellow traveller, I caught  a cold, flying in from Albuquerque.  So, my entire training, I was dealing with ‘said cold.’  And, may I say the cold has been a doozy, stuffy head, sore throat, general dismay, the works.

The reason that I am even bothering to mention this factoid, is that I have been reminded through this last week, of the kindness of strangers.  I came to this training, very far from home, carless, friendless, and I have been the beneficiary of many acts of kindness.  And, in a world where we often are reminded of the poorer actions of our fellow peoples, I thought it relevant to be reminded that nice people do exist and in fact most people are nice.  I have had the pleasure of meeting quite a few of them here in MN.

I think that when we don’t see nice people around us, a couple of things might be going on.  First, I do think sometimes there are not nice people around, be aware of that, but be realistic.  Second, I think what we want is for others to ‘notice’ our need, maybe read our minds and when they don’t we feel rejected, unimportant, or unnoticed.  At that point, it’s not an issue of other people being mean, it’s an issue of us not asking for what we need.  This week instead of an unrealistic expectation, I did something completely revolutionary… I asked for help.  And, each time I asked, “Could you please take me to Walgreens?”  or “Wholefoods?” I was cheered to hear the response of “Yes.”  Granted I wasn’t asking for anyone’s first born, but in a world filled with so many responsibilities and obligations, people are still willing to help out strangers.  Because I am so invested in the idea of ‘take aways,’ my take away from this experience is… recognize the good, and find a way to pay it forward to some next traveller who crosses my path, in need of something, when they are so far from home.