Random acts of kindness

Have you ever pulled into a parking lot and someone hands you their paid parking ticket that’s valid for another hour? Or walked into a packed restaurant and offered to share their table with you? These are what I call random acts of kindness and if you are open to them, they can flood into your life.

One late night in Singapore, I struck up a great conversation with my taxi driver. He seemed astonished that I had been in Singapore for 1.5 days and I hadn’t tried a roti yet. He then proceeded to drive me around the city until we reached his favorite street roti stand where he could buy me my first Singaporean Roti. I remember sitting roadside eating a roti and sipping chai with my taxi driver. The sincerity of that moment with forever be with me.

Midnight street roti in Singapore

Midnight street roti in Singapore

Random acts of kindness struck again when I was travelling Australia. I had met two Aussie families the year before in Europe when we were coincidentally stranded in Milan airport due to snow storms. After chatting a bit, I offered to give them some travel tips for Zurich as I was living there at the time. I remember walking them to the train station when we landed in Zurich and exchanging contact information with them.  So, when I was flying into Cairns for a week, I dropped them an email to say hello and ask for travel tips. Not only did I receive plentiful travel info (with active links and maps) but they also invited me to stay at their beachfront apartment for a few days. On my last night in Cairns, they all came over to the apartment for a dinner party- they even baked a cake! It was a lovely evening that I will always remember due to the warmth and compassion of new friends.

Aussie family dinner party

Aussie family dinner party

I meet other travellers telling countless tales of random acts of kindness.  The commonalities are that:

  1. They are open to receiving random acts of kindness. This may sound absurd but it takes an open mind and heart to receive kindness as much as it takes one to give. An Alaskan woman I met in Bali told me that people do things either out of love or fear. I think there’s truth to that statement. If you fear where the random act of kindness is coming from, you may be less likely to accept or receive it fully. If you believe it’s coming from a place of love, not only can you accept it but you also appreciate it.
  2. They pay it forward.  In NZ, an awesome hostel employee gave me a USB stick with 3 movies on it. Knowing the long distance journeys I had ahead, it was like a golden nugget.  I’m happy to report that I gave the same USB stick to a nice Belgian couple a few weeks ago in Bolivia so that they could enjoy the movies for their long travels. ( insert pat on back here). Usually we get chances in life to pay a good deed forward, it’s up to us to recognize those chances and take them.

Random acts of kindness have the potential to dramatically change your day, week or life.  What was the last random act of kindness you gave or received?

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2 Responses to “Random acts of kindness”

  1. Northernewsy(Andy) Says:
    February 17, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Hi desy

    Loved this article- you look to be having great fun.
    You have gone genuinley global.
    I go to …… Leeds ( yippee)

    Take care of yourself – and keep posting
    Andy x

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