An Act of Kindness by a Stranger

Sharing Time and Knowledge with a Stranger, here in Bhutan, where the owner of a restaurant taught us our first words in Bhutanese.

So often we encounter kindness, and so often from people we don’t even know. For the next 30 days I will share these acts of kindness by a stranger with you. For me to become more mindful and for you how simple joys can make the day of a traveler.

Last fall, Jill Browne blogged on her website MOTRLT (Middle Of the Road Less Traveled) about “An adventure a Day” for 30 days. Many of these adventures may not be on the bucket list of the average traveler, however, they reminded me how traveling is not about the best, the greatest, the most fantastic, or typical bucket list places. The beauty of travel is often found right in front of you, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant the place or moment, and Jill has a great voice to express those encounters.

Some 2 weeks ago Coen fell ill with dengue. We stayed in a guesthouse for a week so he had a proper bed and some comfort. (Normally we sleep in our car). It was a simple guesthouse with the friendliest of owners. The mother of the family kept asking me if I needed anything or if she could do anything for us. Her concern for our well-being was touching. When we left she gave us a bunch of bananas, and did I want a bag of oranges as well?

Of course I can buy my own bananas and oranges. But that’s not the point, is it? It is the concern of that woman for a stranger. It is about a person wanting – or feeling the need – to do something for somebody else that comes from the heart because she wants to show her concern, or to give her love, or to do something good, or to be helpful. It doesn’t really matter what exactly makes a person do something nice: it is a flow of positive energy that we should cherish.

I looked at her and the first thought that ran through my practical mind was, “I have a basket full of oranges and bananas. How are we going to eat them all?” yet simultaneously I noted the rationality of that response. Her eyes expressed the eagerness of wanting to do something, give us something and so without showing it I shrugged my shoulders and figured we would have a “fruit day”; an excessive dose of vitamins surely wasn’t going to hurt us. I stretched out my hand to accept her gift.

“Thank you,” I said, “that is very kind of you.”

If the fruit hadn’t done the trick, her broad smile and shining eyes did: I felt touched.

Jill’s “An Adventure A Day” series gave me an idea: I will keep notes for 30 days on this particular theme: “An act of kindness by a stranger”. I hope you will enjoy them.

All photos by Coen Wubbels. Follow him on Instagram here and here.

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2 thoughts on “An Act of Kindness by a Stranger

  1. What a wonderful idea! Thank you for the compliment (blush). I think you have taken the *-a-day in a wonderful direction, Karin-Marijke. I hope the dengue is done now and Coen feeling well again.

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