Friday, June 18, 2010


The return to Colorado Springs has reminded me of the true kindness inherent in (most) human beings.

Since the girls and I arrived at the airport, nothing has gone smoothly. Why, then, are we in such good spirits? Because nearly everyone we have encountered--from airport security personnel to overworked housekeeping staff, restaurant owners, and vendors have gone out of their way to offer support, kindness, and encouragement simply because they noticed three "women" stranded in the lobby with three-hundred enormous bags!

Today, I found myself more than a little disheartened by our situation. Here I am, the mother of these phenomenal children, the product of a background that was in many ways "privileged yet unable to provide basic stability for myself or, more importantly, my family. Because I am neither naturally negative or prone to despair, moments of gloom or melancholia are immediately apparent to my children; and, when those sweet little voiced cry out, "Mommy, don't be sad!" the sound is enough to shatter the stoniest of hearts.

Today, I was feeling worn out, worn down, and a bit overwhelmed. At the very moment I was feeling most discouraged, yet another perfect stranger walked up, asked if we were stranded, introduced himself as the cook at the Gordon Biersch restaurant, then all but insisted that we allow him to bring us drinks, "because it's hot today!"

We are sitting beneath the air conditioning.

Nevertheless, when he--Rory--returned with our sodas (in the refillable cups from a sister restaurant) he insisted that we come and find him if we became thirsty or hungry. Of course, we did not want to take advantage of his generosity.

Less than an hour later, Rory returned with "something for you to eat," seeming somewhat embarrassed by our thanks. For the food? Most certainly. But mainly for the simple, human compassion which--when offered freely and of genuine concern for others--often provides for the recipient far more than creature comforts...


Faith: in oneself as well as others.

That sense of not being alone in the world, or lost in those dark places to be found in the shadows of one's hardship, misfortune, or despair...!

So many pretend to believe selflessness by its very definition exists as no more than a mask, any outward acts of it carried out not altruistically but in a very self-serving need to the "good deed doer"'s hidden sanctimonious nature and only for the most selfish of motives. My time here, however, has disproved such a theory as no more than the insipid justification of that speaker's lack of basic human decency.

The true majesty of the human condition does live within the hearts and spirits of modern men and women. And, although it is easy to forget or doubt this fact, gentle acts of empathy like those my daughters and I have encountered (kind words, kind deeds, kind hearts) remind us just how remarkable we humans are at our best...and how easy it is, effortless it can be to help each other along this collection of meandering, unpredictable peregrinations we call Life.

Thanks, Rory.

(Did I mention that even as I was typing my closing thanks, yet another security guard just came over to ask if we needed cots or could think of anything we might need that the airport could provide to make us more comfortable...after congratulating my daughter with a "hi-five" for her recent graduation from Exeter?)

1 comment:

  1. Hi again stranger:) Again if you don't mind (you have the delete option) let me give you time to comment.

    See, this is touching : " Because I am neither naturally negative or prone to despair, moments of gloom or melancholia are immediately apparent to my children; and, when those sweet little voiced cry out, "Mommy, don't be sad!" the sound is enough to shatter the stoniest of hearts."

    It is 10:53 am where I am -- the Sahara Desert! Heat is something I cannot be positive about because it adds to the raucous noise of this city. Anyway... your kid is crying out to you... wanting to see in you perhaps, more joy or laughter? Aren't you robbing them of their own childhood "joy" by NOT giving them the memory of remembering you as their mother "who always had a smile in her face no matter how sad she felt" ?

    I hope today that you're not in any pain. You know, thousands of miles away, I can only say that I cannot imagine being in your place because I have such a low pain threshold. When I gave birth (I was 16)and labor set it I literally got physical and started kicking everyone who wanted to help me, even the nurses. I couldn't be "positive" so I comprehend your moods when you're in pain.

    Yes, there are good human beings. You find them everywhere in the planet even in slum areas where people actually live in garbage dumps. I know of a nice garbage dump community called "Smokey Mountains" where I live and people SURVIVE by picking on the garbage and selling them to those rabid environmental nuts who recycle these garbage into lovely bags. Think about that stranger.. makes me what if we could recycle our whole life -- and even if we could, maybe it would still turn out the same (and thus, we would keep recycling and recycling .. )

    Reading your blog again.. what you see is you in your child. I have no idea if you had a happy childhood.. did you climb up a tree with glee? Did you love riding horses? Do you have the loveliest Christmas memories with your parents? Could be a yes or a no. Somehow, I think what you can be "nursing" is that "child" in you that is there and never leaves you. Your maternal instincts show but you can try and nurture yourself MORE, care for YOU more until you can smile again.. maybe rediscover laughter.. huh? Like those slum people who live near the garbage "mountain", we can make most of our given environments, though I honestly wouldn't want to live in the same place.

    Hold those happy memories of good people. Throw away the bad ones stranger. Wishing you less stress and pain. The best way to live you know is "just happy". I don't know how, that's too hard to assume (presumptuous of me!) when you're in pain I know.

    See yourself in your kid so that you can be kinder to yourself... and others. Pray if you believe in that.. I do. Be well stranger! TRY anyway.