I was looking through some papers today and came across a little piece of memorabilia that brought to mind the far reaching impact that a little act of kindness can have on another person.
I always had a dream to live in America. It was a dream that started in childhood when I did not even have a clear idea of where America was. I have been blessed with travelling a lot througout my life and during the 80's and 90's I visited more and more of North America. On my travels I developed many close and loving friendships many of which I still maintain contact with.
A number of events came together to open up a door of opportunity for me to fulfill that lifetime dream. But manifesting the dream was something of a painful process in many ways (particularly with the American Immigration system) but I managed to buy a business in Bradenton, Florida and leave England to start my new life in Florida. It was, at the same note, a magical and a highly stressful period. I was living my dream and loved it but personal, national and international events conspired to result in my losing the business, having no way of earning a living and holding a visa that was due to expire in the next couple of months.
I made the excruiatingly painful decision to let go and leave.
The night before I was due to fly back to the UK, I went out to a local pizza restaurant. This was a place that I had been in once before about 2 years previously. I ordered my pizza and a glass of wine feeling that it felt like the final meal of the condemned. The waiter (who was also the owner) served me my pizza. When he was clearing my plate, he asked if I was OK. I said 'no' and went on to tell him what the next day held for me and why. He listened and then walked away coming back with the bill for my meal.
He had written over the top of the bill the following note:
Sorry to hear of your bad news. I hope things turn out for
the better for you in life.
ps: Pizza's on me!!!!
I thought then and think now that was one of the kindest things that anyone has ever done. Not in its magnitude but in its totally unselfish act of holding out a hand of friendshio to a total stranger who he will never see again.
When I went back to my home town in Florida about 6 months later for a visit, I went to see Walker and the restaurant had closed down. I hope that someone was able to reach out to him and offer a connection as he did to me.
Coming across the receipt today reminded me of how important it is for us all to hold at the hand of kindness and compassion to others and what a difference that might make.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!