The Kindness Of Strangers
As I travel around the world, the kindness of strangers has always been a pleasant surprise. Whenever I need help the first person I ask usually says ‘yes’. When I don’t need help, it is often offered.
I like to help other people out as well, so I have no reason to believe that most of us are generally ‘good’.
I was reminded of that again living here in Fort Myers, Florida.
‘Holiday’ (his real name is James) is from Haiti. He recently came to America and the immigration department granted the honor of mis-ordering his first and middle names. He’s an Uber driver and we met when he picked me up for a quick trip downtown in West Palm Beach.
After talking in the car we decided to stay in contact. He was interested in becoming an online freelancer and we spent a day together in the library sharing ideas and setting up his online profile.
We went our separate ways. The next week I was preparing to jump on my flight to Guatemala when I decided to ditch the flight and stay in Florida to focus on business. There was a mentor I wanted to work with here.
This mentor and I had a quick chat on Skype and the next day I was on a bus to his office in Fort Myers. That’s when Holiday sent me this message:
“How are you doing? How was your trip? I went back to Fort Myers yesterday and never had a chance to text you.”
We were in the same city! (This seems to be happening a lot) We met up that day and he showed me his house, as well as the room he offered me to stay in.
Being totally new to the area I was extremely grateful. When I asked how long he expected me to stay his answer was simply ‘months’.
A Generous World
It doesn’t matter whether they’re Asian or Hatian, I find generous people are everywhere! After traveling for over a year as a digital nomad this seems to hold true no matter the hemisphere, continent or time-zone.
You may feel that the world is a dangerous place, and there’s some merit to that belief. You have your occasional thieves, Ponzi schemers, crooked politicians, and the like. But in reality most people aren’t out to get us. They’re out to help us.
Do you walk down the street thinking of how to take advantage of everyone around you?
Probably not. And 99.9% of the people you meet don’t either.
For the malicious %.1 you need to gain a little discernment. You need to learn how to protect yourself from lies and tricks. You need to do your due diligence. But you shouldn’t be paranoid because of this relatively small group of individuals.
For the much larger majority, why not let yourself trust a little more in the kindness of strangers?
This trust has lead to some of the most exciting experiences of my life.
This trust, not in any one individual but in the world itself, is the reason I left on this journey to begin with.