Generosity

People can be so giving

Best and most giving group of folks. I have a story for each of them, from giving us a home for a month or a week, to great diners and conversations, even an opportunity to do some laundry! They have all turned into life long friends, and that is what I treasure the most.

During our Australian travels we have been quite surprised by the giving nature of people.  Maybe it’s an Australian thing or maybe it’s because we have “funny” accents and people can tell we’re not from around here, but people have been so generous to us.   If we have ever really needed a hand, someone has come out from somewhere and helped us.  No reward wanted, just doing it to be nice.  We have had nights where our tent has come down in the wind and all our things have gotten wet in the rain.  Did someone offer to help? Yes, they offered a room in their house, a hot shower and a meal too.  When we were running low on money and needed to stay in a certain area because of a job, did we get by? Yes, a camp manager gave us a week stay on a prime site for free just because he liked talking to us. The generosity of people can be really amazing.

“Goodness is about character – integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like.  More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people.”

–Dennis Prager

Being this kind of a backpacker has shown me how kind people can really be.  Of course we would have gotten by without the help of others.  We made a rule to not ask unless we really needed it and we knew we wouldn’t put anyone out.  But I’ll tell you this, it sure is nice to get out of the tent every once in a while, have an indoor shower and a meal that isn’t a one-bowl-wonder (a mash-up of everything cooked in 1 pot/pan).  It’s the small things and they sure mean a lot to someone who doesn’t have much.  That person can and will get by without it but if you can offer any little bit of luxury it sure will be appreciated by a backpacker. 

I once actually met a couple who felt the opposite of this.  When we went to help some backpacker friends, they asked us why we would do that.  “How broke are they that they can’t find their own place to sleep in a hostel?  How broke are they that they can’t afford to do their laundry at a laundry mat?  Why would you cook for them and let them shower in your house when they won’t pay you for the water they use and the food they eat?  Didn’t they choose to live this way, so let them”…  I only bring this up because if there are 2 people in the world who ask these questions there will be more.  I think it’s sad when you can’t open your mind, your heart or your home to someone who doesn’t have what you have.  It shouldn’t even be about “giving is getting”, it should be about giving is good, it’s nice, it’s kind, and the person on the other end gets something.  Isn’t that enough?  They need something that I can share, so I’m gonna share it, the end (tiny rant over).

In the future, during my travels and after, I plan on being just as generous as the people who helped us along the way.  If I can help, I will.  I feel like I need to pay it forward to thank who helped me when I needed it.  I know how good it feels when someone helps me and I want someone else to feel that too.  

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