“What this world needs is a new kind of army. The army of the kind.” -Cleveland Amory
When I began my odyssey of relying on the kindness of strangers, I had no idea I would end up where I am today: happy, inspired and loving life. In the days before my journey I desperately wanted to change my life, but what that new life would look like was but a mystery… I guess I found myself taking a leap of faith, a giant leap into the unknown. And what cushioned my fall was the inspiring spirit of humanity.
The most remarkable aspects of my adventure are the connections I made along the way and the 180-degree shift in my perception of our world. I honestly don’t feel that I would be where I am today were it not for the individuals who touched my life in such a magical fashion; the preachers, the housewives, the drifters and all the others re-energized my soul. They lifted my spirits. They showed me that humans have a greater role to play in life, than just the selfish one-dimensional self-seeking we all tend to indulge in. We are all linked by invisible and unbreakable bonds.
The best of Humanity is what I found along my journey….
I have far too many stories of random acts of kindness to fill this blog post. In fact it’s nigh on impossible. So, I am going to recount three of the most awe inspiring acts of generosity I experienced.
Prepare to be humbled by the deeds of inspirational men and women all over the world.
I found myself in Indianapolis, Indiana and came across a young mother and her one year old son. What happened next has baffled me and warmed my heart with equal measure. I was searching for a way out of town and she offered me her house in Chicago. However, she was staying in Indianapolis for the night!
Here was a young lady offering to give a complete stranger the keys to her home. I was dumbstruck. Literally speechless. I found my way to Chicago and stayed in her house. Unbelievable.
Jack: The Scottish madman (A madman in the nicest sense of the word!)
I was visiting the small English seaside resort of Whitby and bumped into a larger than life fisherman who offered to drive me up to Scotland. As we drove in his lobster van he informed me that I was to be his guest for the night. I didn’t seem to have a choice in the matter. He was an absolutely lovely chap and had an unexpected adventure planned for me the following morning…
We woke up at the crack of dawn and he gently suggested I accompany him on a voyage to the North Sea on his 14 foot wooden boat! I must say I felt exceedingly fortunate not to drown on that day. His boat was not so lucky. I received a text from him a few weeks later informing me that his pride and joy had sunk in the harbor…
The friendliest town in the world
Whilst on my trek across America I stumbled across the small leafy town of Galesburg, Illinois. Little did I know this picturesque hamlet was soon to be christened (by me) the friendliest town in the world! I had bumped into a chap called Bob who took a liking to me and I ended up staying the night with him and his lovely family.
The next morning the whole town raised $100 for a train ticket for me to get to Denver! I will never forget the kindness shown to me by the small town of Galesburg. See you guys on the book tour!!!
What did I learn from all this kindness…I learnt to pay it forward. I learnt to give it away. I learnt that we all have the seeds of compassion and joy in our lives.