15 November 2013

Giving the Help I'd Hoped to Receive

When I set off for Ghana 2 weeks ago I had 4 pieces of luggage. The only other time I've traveled with so much stuff was when the dogs and I relocated from the US to the Netherlands.  I had the big black box that my student has on his head in the post below, a duffel bag, a small rolling case (the only piece of luggage containing my things) and another bag filled with old shoes and other stuff I was giving away (everything but the small rolling case was filled with stuff to give away).  My bag was the only thing with wheels.  I was taking the train to the airport in Amsterdam and train stations (except for the train station in the airport) don't have luggage carts so I had to get to the correct platform with all that stuff. A friend drove me to the train station but it's under construction and she couldn't park and help me.  I thought sure someone would see me struggling and offer assistance (Dutch people are generally very friendly and helpful). No one did.

Fast forward to several hours later after I'd finally managed to get my bags all checked and get myself through immigration and there I was buying a sandwich and a drink. As I was putting the sandwich into my bag I heard the guy behind me say, "Oh, you only take euro?"  I turned to look and he was trying to buy a small bag of potato chips but he only had British pounds.  I quickly fished the correct coins out of my pocket and gave them to the cashier.  The man protested but I insisted. Then he tried to give me the pounds.  I just smiled and wished him a safe flight.  He stood there, mouth agape, astonished look on his face and simply said, "Wow...you're so nice!"  That made my day! 

I had expected to be able to rely on the kindness of strangers that morning.  But how could I expect that if I wasn't willing to be that kind stranger myself?  I walked to my gate with a big smile on my face. 

What have you done lately to make a stranger's day?

1 comment:

  1. You are awesome! As you know, we have been on the receiving end of random acts of kindness lately and love being on the giving end as well. My kids and I have started a new one that they love. We hide dollar bills occasionally, say in a park or a booth at a restaurant and imagine the people that will find them.