Thursday, October 06, 2011

Tiny Acts of Kindness

An act of goodness is of itself an act of happiness. No reward coming after the event can compare with the sweet reward that went with it. - Maurice Maeterlinck

Yesterday, I had a friend coming over for lunch (a really sweet Peace Corps volunteer who found our blog looking for a vegetarian callaloo soup recipe - but that's another story!).  I started cooking, when I suddenly realized that I didn't have the onion I needed to make my meal.  Shoot! It was threatening rain, my guest was due in 25 minutes and I didn't have time to run over to the grocery store.  Hmmm....what to do?  I decided I would try my luck at the harbor restaurant and see if I could buy an onion from them.  I scurried over there with my wallet and when I arrived I was greeted by the head chef, who I later learned was called Richard.

"Hi, I am so sorry to bother..." I began.

"No, no!!!" he interrupted with a big smile, "No bother at all sister!!"

"Oh, okay...thank you.  I was just wondering, if - by any chance at all - you might have an onion to spare?  I have started cooking and didn't realize I had run out, and if I could just buy one off you I would really appreciate it."

"No, no, " he started, waving his hands, " don't need to buy the onion!  We have no price for it...No problem, I have an onion to spare for you!" he gave me one last big smile before disappearing in the kitchen and when he came back, he had a little bag with not one, but three onions in it.

That little exchange made my day.

Truth be told, Grenada is full of people like that.  Scott and I have met so many locals who have been willing to go above and beyond for us - just because.  They don't ask for anything in return, they're not trying to swindle us, they are just happy to help.

When we first arrived here, Scott and I made the acquaintance of a rasta man named Ashley.  Ashley works around the harbor, asking if he can help with any projects, offering his services to boaters and from the very first time I met him I knew he was good.   He stops by our boat every couple of days to see if we need anything; always offering to clean our waterline or remind us that the bottom of our dinghy is due for a scrub.  Last week he came by just to say hello.  After chatting a bit I noticed he smelled so fragrant and lovely.

 "Ashley - you smell so nice!!  What is it you are wearing?" I asked him with a smile.

Nearly blushing, he replied, "You like it?  It's an oil."

"Well, you smell wonderful!" I told him.

And the next morning, there was a little knock on the boat, and when I came up he extended his palm and in it was a small vile of essential oil. "For you" he said.  He asked for nothing in return and said it was a gift for his friend, me.  This is a man who probably doesn't have money to spare and he could have just skipped it - but he didn't.  He knew I liked it and wanted me to have some for myself.  I gave him a big hug in return.  Because sometimes, a big hug is all people want!

It's no question that this world is a crazy, cruel place full of conflict and turmoil; but there are so many wonderful people out there - like Richard and Ashley - who are just friendly, kind people happy to help others.  Every day, there are people out there in the world doing nothing but spreading a little goodness around and that is beautiful.


Brittany & Scott


Anonymous said...

Thank you for brightening my day. :)

Paul from NWOnt

Lisa Hanneman said...

It's nice to have reminders about kindness... it's something that crosses cultures and connects all of us.

I often forget how lucky I am to work in nonprofit, where I get to see people giving of themselves on a daily basis. Sometimes I need a reminder.

Mid-Life Cruising! said...

Nice to hear a good story! I do believe that those with less are happier and know what's really important in life. I guess that's part of why we can't wait to get out there in the cruising world. If we all could learn from this, the world would be a better place!

Chris said...

I started reading your blog from the beginning, about a week ago, at the behest of my wife. I'm still catching up but I wanted to comment here to say that it's been my observation that you consistently meeting people like this has been no accident.

You two have such an attractive and contagious personality and it's obviously that attitude which has put these people in your path. Your views on life and the way in which you embrace every day and everybody with love and compassion just make people with similar attitudes and outlooks (and even those who only *want* to be like you) gravitate towards you. Call it energy, call it chi, prana, aura or "the force" but whatever you call it, you guys have it in spades. :)

I look forward to catching up to today and following in the rest of your adventures. If you ever decide to turn your heading north (way north) you've got a place to stay in Stavanger, Norway. ;)

Windtraveler said...

Thank you Chris, your comment just made my day...honestly, you are very kind. I do try to live my life by the "law of attraction" (the idea that your thoughts and mind create the world around you) and I tend to seek out the yeah, it doesn't surprise me when kind people (like you!) come into my life - but it always makes me smile! Thanks again for reading and for your nice comment :)

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