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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Kindness Unleashed

I've always been amazed by the kindness of strangers, a kind act or a phrase of sincerity can go along way to somebody. On many occasions, I have been completely taken back at how some people can open their hearts in times of troubles and sorrow. I hope that I may be able to as giving to those who have provided me a port of harbor in stormy weather.

When I was in Kyoto, Japan during the summer, I had pack light in lieu of the hot and humid summer months. Little did I know that it was monsoon season in Kyoto, about an hour after leaving the train station I got caught in a torrental downpour. I was taking a walking tour of the city when it started to rain and as time webt on it got worse and worse. After waiting for a while for the rain to pass, I decided to risk it and continue my several kilometer tour. Well, I was soaked from head to toe in ten minutes and was in bad shape.

I sought refuge in a local cafe to try and get dry and warmed up. The staff thought I was completely mad to go without an umbrella, of course that was my interpretation as I didn't know Japanese. I was drying myself with several dozen little napkins in a vain effort to try and dry my soaked wallet and passport. The staff helped me with some clean towels as they looked on with either sympathy or confusement. I had to ask them where I could purchase an umbrella for the trip home and they did not know where I get one. After seening my rain drenched body, one of the female staff decided to offer her umbrella to give to me. I offered her some cash but she was insistent on giving me the umbrella for free. I walked out of the store a little less wet and a lot more appreciative of the kindness of others.

Maybe it was the culture of the Japanese or it was the pathetic state I was in, but the fact that they reached out in time of my need was amazing to me. I think that today's culture and society does not promote enough kindness and generocity to others. The act of giving is in itself a very pleasurable gesture. It's like a quick pick me up for people who want to feel better about themselves.

I will do my best to be more generous and giving to others in times of need and hardship. The world can use a bit more umbrellas to give us shelter from the rains of selfishness and self-centeredness.

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