Sunday, March 7, 2010

The kindness of strangers

During our adventure around the world, the boys and I spent four glorious weeks on England's beautiful Isle of Wight. In my book I describe Christine, the owner of the bed and breakfast where we stayed. But recently a friend criticized my work, saying that although I wrote about all the kind and charitable gestures that she did for the boys and I, there was not enough detailed description about Christine herself.

No offence to my friend, whose ideas I value greatly, but I stand by my words, because I believe that recounting the kindness of someone speaks volumes. Christine may or may not have been happily married; she may or may not have had children; she may or may not have been attractive. These may be interesting facts I agree, but at the end of the day, the description of Christine’s kind actions tells the reader that she is a selfless and caring character.

To reiterate my thoughts on the idea that a person's deeds can describe their character, I will use the example of my lovely neighbours, Mary Anne and Jim. I have only recently gotten to know this American couple who leave their home town of Seattle each winter to live in New Zealand and enjoy its summer. They live on the beach near me and as a result are always part of the beach parties that my friends and I have on a regular basis.

Jim and Mary Anne value their family and friends and because they see that my boys have only ME (I have no parents and Marco's father and family live overseas) they turn up at events that family members are likely to attend. This occurred today when they surprised my eldest son Marco by coming to a morning tea at his school in honour of him receiving top marks on his report card. Jim and Mary Anne gave up their morning which could have been spent relaxing on the beach, to make Marco feel special. It worked. And I am extremely grateful for their kindness.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Life's accomplishments, especially those of our young people who are our future, need to be recognized and celebrated. Keep up the good work Marco! Jim and Mary Anne