I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you to two people I may never meet again in my life. You may not have realised it at the time, but you have each taught me invaluable lessons that I will keep with me for many years to come.
When I was a child living in the Middle East, I remember throwing a tantrum one day in my parent’s car. I have no idea what it was about, but just remember that I was screaming and crying my head off. A local Arab must have seen me from his car and motioned for my parents to stop. For a bit of background, being an immigrant in the Middle East, you sometimes get used to being a second class citizen, and so we were naturally a bit unsure of his intentions. He then handed me a brand new clock, still in the box. As I was just a child then, I don’t remember what he said to me, but I remember his kind words put me at ease and probably gave my parents some much needed quiet time. That clock still ticks at my parents’ house and constantly reminds me about cultural tolerance, random acts of kindness and just being a good human being when no one is watching.
After moving to Canada in the mid-90s, when I was in my early teens, I remember answering a newspaper ad to sell roses door-to-door out of a bucket. It was probably not the safest idea given the neighbourhood I was in, but I wanted to scrape together a few bucks to buy some roller blades. I tried my hardest for a few hours that morning without any luck. After being both physically and mentally drained, I decided to wait at the pickup zone accepting defeat. After about a half hour or so, a guy with a nice red convertible drove past and a few minutes later he drove back from the other direction, so I can only assume he saw me and pulled a U-turn. He then handed me a nice crisp $20 note, bought one rose for $3 dollars and told me to keep the change and to not give it to anyone. A $17 tip!! To this day I have no idea why he did that or who he was, but I hope that one day I can find him, shake his hand and say thank you. For now, this listserve will have to do. J I’d like to say I treasured that $20 till now and never spent it, but let’s be honest; I was a child with a $20 bill in my hand. I probably bought $20 worth of Oh Henry chocolate bars or 7 million gummy worms. Thank you red convertible driving stranger, not only for the kind monetary gesture, but for restoring my faith in humanity when I most need it.
The above two experiences have help mold me into the person I am today and I’d like to think I turned out alright. I don’t always have the money to give to charity, but I do make the time to volunteer and give back one way or the other. I hope that some of this resonates with you listervians and that you continue to be kind and help others because you may not know or realise just how big the ripple effect is that it has on people’s lives.
If you’d like to have a chat or share a story on what has moulded you, feel free to email me. I’m also always open to talking motorcycles!