The Kindness of Strangers

The Kindness of Strangers

“Are you fecking kidding me?”

As I stood atop the glorious Cliffs of Moher on a cold and windy November day, after reaching into my jacket to snap a picture of the view with my iPhone, I watched as the 50€ note that I had put inside for “safe keeping” danced away through the fields with the wind

Shit. Shit. Shit.

“Seriously, are you kidding me!?”

Unfortunately, losing this much cash was not a new thing for me. As of last weekend, losing fifties seemed to be my new trend, and this reoccurrence only a week later proved I must have really pissed someone off upstairs.

Do I go after it? It seemed to be long gone as it keep whipping viciously farther and farther out of reach, floating higher towards the sky.

But then I hear a guy say, “Someone’s grabbed it!”

Sure enough, as I stroll down the path of the cliffs, I meet a man who comes up to me with my liberated earnings and asks, “Did you lose this?”

All I could think was to hug this benevolent rescuer. Losing 50€ two weekends in a row was not a routine I was hoping to establish. It was bad enough it already happened once. Never was I so grateful for the kindness of strangers.

At that moment, I thought of all the random acts of kindness I had experienced since I moved abroad. It astonished me to think how lucky I’ve been in the most unlucky of situations over the course of 4 months.

First, a taxi driver. After a sketchy situation for a friend and I in Temple Bar one fateful night, the taxi driver, who should have only driven me a few subdivisions away, ended up taking me forty minutes outside of Dublin back home to Moyvalley, charging me way less than he had the right to. He even checked in on my friend the next day who, in comparison, had really felt the brunt of the night’s events.

Another transporter, this time a bus driver, helped me find where I was suppose to be, going far out of his way in doing so, making my life a hell of a lot easier. Then, a chocolate maker who had provided my friend and I with a package of free chocolates simply because we had to wait an extra five to ten minutes for our purchase. After the day we had, we were beyond grateful to have someone give us a win.

Fourth, an entrepreneur. After stupidly locking in our German rental car in a car park, which apparently closes on Sundays (and which, we should have thought to look into despite our lack of German dialect), this shop owner entrusts three thoughtless Canadians with his card key to help get us out of our sticky situation and promptly on the road to Cologne.

And finally, Patrick: the Savior of my week’s earnings, jumping over a fence and into a field to chase around a spazzy fifty euro note. During the mindless patterns of rotten luck, I was extremely fortunate to have been in the presence of kind and thoughtful people. People who didn’t need to offer up their services, people who could have chosen to be selfish and disregard my current state of thoughtlessness, but who instead chose to be kind. This is what makes me have faith in the human race.

Small acts of kindness may indeed seem small to those who deliver them, but they can greatly change everything for the receiver simply because someone chose to care. It is an enormous service, to be kind. I’m glad to have met these people along the way, and I am grateful to know that such generosity and consideration still exists in the world. Taking two minutes out of your day to do something nice for someone else, someone you have absolutely zero obligation to, with an unlikely chance of reciprocity or reward is an incredible quality to have. One that I want to ensure exists within myself, and to consciously make an effort in offering such kindness to someone, anyone, every single day.

Cheers to those who have helped me along the way: friends, family, and strangers. Your benevolence exceeds great expectations and I hope that, if I am unable to do so myself, the fates can return the favour for you someday. “What goes around is all around.” Thank you.

One thought on “The Kindness of Strangers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *