This weekend was full of hot springs, skillet cooking, and a reminder of the importance of being a kind human being.
I’ve travelled a lot during the last few years; a cross-country bike ride on a bike made of bamboo, riding bikes off the coast of Iceland, being nomadic for roughly three years, backpacking, camping and hiking in California.
During these times, I’ve encountered a lot of people; three minute interactions with them as they rang me up at a convenience store, a 20 minute conversion at a bar with a local, and even spending an afternoon, this past weekend, with two people who helped Joseph and I out when we needed it.
The battery in Joseph’s car died and we needed a jump. But first, hot springs! After soaking for a bit, we decided to get our shit together and deal with the car. On the walk back to the parking lot, we came across people packing their sweet Chevy van. We explained our situation and they offered to lend us a hand. Ella, from Hungary, and Oola, from Finland, both said yes without hesitation. After initial introductions and explaining the situation, we were in their van on the way back to the car.
What struck me was their attitude while helping us. It seemed that the detour we put them on didn’t even phase them. They welcomed the act. They were traveling the state, experiencing the beauty of the mountains, visiting old friends, and catching up themselves after not seeing each other during the last few years… and helping us was just one more adventure to add to their list.
It’s a long story, but we spent the majority of the afternoon together working on the car and during that time, not once did they seem put out. I repeatedly said thanks for helping and that we (Joseph and I) really appreciate their time. Ella’s only response was that,
“We like to put out good in the world because one day we might need it ourselves.”
That was one of the biggest takeaways from the Alabamboo Make & Ride—the amount of kindness and generosity, the “good in the world” we experienced while on the road. There were times where we were in a bind and we needed help to get out of a crappy situation; a flat tire, a broken bike component, in need of a camp site.
Having someone, a stranger, take the time out of their “busy” lives to lend a hand, to give back, to “put out good in the world”, it can have huge impact on the lives asking for the help.
There is a lot of good in the world. We all experience it every day. A simple gesture or a huge favor, it doesn’t matter. Nonetheless, it is our job to recognize it when someone helps us. We should welcome it, have gratitude, and then turn that around to give to someone else when the time comes… to put the good back out in the world.