Two Sundays ago we heard a gospel about the Judgment Day when God thanks the rightous people for taking care of him when he was thirsty, hungry, homeless, in prison etc. When they could not recall when they had done such things, they heard that whatever they did to their brothers was as if they did the same to Him.
Reading those words to my family in a campervan I had an impression we have been many times on both the receiving and giving end of good deeds during our journey. How can I describe, for example, the act of putting a four-person family up, by complete strangers, if not as something amazing!?
Just imagine yourselves hosting out of the blue (usually we plan our visits with some lead time ) a strange family with two young kids for several days. Though you can learn something about them from their blog, one can never know what they are like. Nowadays when there are fewer and fewer hitchhikers, since both them and drivers are afraid to offer a ride, such a hospitality is so unexpected.
From our side we try not to forget about good deeds as well. Dedicating a whole month of our sabbatical to volunteering in Honduras was a great opportunity to thank for all the good we have received. At many campgrounds, particularly in bigger cities, there is a nice custom of leaving behind some food surplus and other unnecessary items by people ending their journey. It is also very practical and win-win. Why carry surplus luggage home or throw away food if you can share it with others? I will not forget a puzzled and surprised face of the taxi driver who took us early morning to the airport in Christchurch, New Zealand. In addition to the fare payment he got from us a few things like a sleeping matress with a pump, some food and a few bottles of propane for a portable stove. Quite often our good gestures are doubly reciprocated in most unexpected circumstances by other people.
Reading in the media about the world at large, we can have an impression that it is dominated by the evil. If we just relied on the recent accounts of the situation in Europe or Poland, the best thing would be not to go back. When we seperate ourselves for a moment from all of this drama we can see so much more kindness and people doing good things.
Writing this I remembered seeing an inspring movie a few years back “Pay it forward” about a boy named Trever. As his homework assignment he decides to change the world by encouraging people to perform three good deeds for each one they receive. Thanks to a geometrical impact of this process the whole initiative turns out to have a great impact. Though it was just a movie, I feel like Trevor’s assigment is still going on.
So: Pay it forward …
PS Grazyna and Witek. Many thanks for your wonderful hospitality here in Brisbane and for spoiling our kids a bit. Getting a boomernag in Australia does not only mean we need to come back here again. It is for me a nice reminder to return good as well.