Some local acts of kindness
September 12, 2008
Remember the touching 1913 classic novel about a young girl named Pollyanna who transformed the stiff people of a New England town into kind, compassionate people with her optimistic outlook on life? It’s curious we read local letters to the editor which both extol the kind acts of local residents but also bemoa deplorable conduct.
Last Sunday I joined the Wilderness Workshop on an excursion into the wilderness near Thompson Creek for a wonderful day communing with nature and the wilderness and meeting some very grounded country folk.
When I drove down the mountain, I stopped at a roadside stand to buy sweet corn but was told the corn was all sold. To give the two elderly men some business, I decided to buy a couple tomatoes, a cucumber, a squash, and an onion, but when I asked the kindly man how much I owed him, he told me, “Give me a little kiss on the cheek and you don’t owe me anything … after all, we didn’t have what you wanted!” I protested his generosity briefly because I didn’t want to deprive him of the joy of giving his produce to me.
Last weekend, participants in the Aspen “Ride for the Cure” 100-mile bike ride told me it made a huge difference in their ability to ride to be treated so warmly by Aspen volunteers who cheered every single straggling biker across the finish line as if he/she were a champion. Imagine perpetuating that behavior on a daily basis?
I remember reading about a football match where one team was beating the other team by such a large margin that when a player on the losing team was injured, someone from the winning team took the place of the losing player so the game could continue. Imagine that?
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The vegetable stand act of kindness reminded me why some of us live in this mountain paradise far away from the hustle and bustle of city life. We live here because we can connect with nature on a dee per level ” although we don’t always connect with each other in the same meaningful way. If we don’t extend ourselves to each other in the same welcoming manner we treat visitors, we risk losing the friendly mountain culture we enjoy. Pollyanna would approve performing acts of kindness on a daily basis and reaching out to each other in a meaningful way ” so we don’t lose the long-held friendly mountain culture which binds us.