Ordinary act of an ordinary man

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This gallery contains 1 photo.

These two young porters were passing by Imja Valley, Everest Region, Nepal at an altitude of above 5,000 meters with carrying goods for a trekking/climbing group. In Nepal, such porters can earn only a minimal sum of money despite their hard … Continue reading

The Fisher King

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This gallery contains 6 photos.

A series of photographs taken during my pilgrimage to India in 2014. Our bus was at a standstill during rush hour and I saw this man crossing the road. A barefooted man wearing a sack for clothing. He bent down to … Continue reading

The Endurance of Tacloban: Heart of the Philippines

China Sojourns provided us with an excellent photography, writting, lessons and Save the Children project on the impact of Typhoon Yolanda in Tacloban, Philippines. An Excellent post! And I want to add with the gifts of faith, hope, and love the Filipinos will recover and become stronger people. Thank you, Randall for keeping us up-to-date.

Global Sojourns Photography

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Violent winds swirl the dark, ominous thunderclouds overhead. The pounding waves crash onto the rocky shore and the roar of the Pacific Ocean makes its intention clear: thrash anything in its path.

With electricity in the air, I am oblivious to everything except the power coming my way as rain beats against my face, sucking me into the depths of the storm.

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Ever since I was young, the powerful forces of storms, especially on the Oregon Coast, have held a rare type of electricity for me.  Electricity that excites my soul and eliminates any trace of fear I may have.

Chasing the idea of becoming one with the storm.  Not just to see the power unravel in front of me, but to physically feel this rare electricity.

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The past three days I’ve experienced a different type of feeling.

Walking along the Tacloban city coastline watching the sunrise, I am beginning…

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No strings attached. A Random Act of Kindness

Question: How do you accept and react to kindness?

A wonderful experience happened to me this Saturday on the way to the mall.

Two children, a boy and a girl came running towards me with bottles on their hands if I want to have bottled water.

It was a surprising gesture and unsure whether this was for real. I wondered if they were doing fund-raising. I knelt to their level to ask them where their parents are and how much a bottle of water is.

As I was about to ask them, two adult women came up to me explaining what the children are doing.

“We are teaching the children to give without anything in return. We are teaching people to accept without giving in return.”

What a noble idea. A random act of kindness.

This incident excited me, and in an instant I wanted to ask these strangers a million and one questions: how did you do it; what made you do it; what are the reactions did you get from other people; how many bottles did you give away; how many bottles do you have left; what time did you start; and on and on and on…

Finally, I gave them a chance to respond to my questions.

Two mothers bought 700-16oz bottled water. Placed a sticker on all bottles with five different quotes:

  1. Smile at everyone, you’ll never know when someone may need it.
  2. If Plan A does not work, there are 25 more letters in the alphabets.
  3. Have a thirst for life. Every day is filled with possibilities.
  4. In your thirst for knowledge, be sure you don’t drown in all the information.
  5. Dig your well before you’re thirsty.

 

The bottle I have has quote #5.

A sudden change of attitude opened up between me, the mothers and the children. We are no longer stranger to each other.  We were having such a great time chin wagging, and I ended up helping them give away the rest of the bottled water.

One young lady was so thankful that she happily accepted the water and said it was the best thing that happened to her all day since she had a “shitty” day at work.

A man refused and walked away saying no thanks; it’s not a bottle of beer.

A couple kept on bowing to us in gratitude. They must be Japanese or Korean or something.

When it was all done, the children and I were giving each other high-five. It was so much fun. I think I had more fun doing this than the mothers and the children. It was grand, just splendid.

These mothers provided a good example to their children how to be giving and continue giving 700 times fold. I told the children that I can’t wait to tell the children in my family about their good deeds. They were beaming with joy.

In retrospect, water is like kindness. Kindness must be continuously flowing like water. Water that is not moving becomes stagnant. It may be bottled, but in the long run, the water becomes cloudy, less appealing to drink.  Water is life-giving.

It was time to say goodbye and Michael astonished me by hugging my waistline. He was that small. Then Raine followed. The three of us were hugging each other. I was speechless.  The parents and I hugged each other as well, separately. No group hugs for adults.

I was full of gratitude to the two children, Raine and Michael, for their infectious kindness. Thanking them for stopping me in my tracks.
R and M

To the mothers, Stephanie and Jasmines, thank you for being a good example to your children. May our water of kindness remain free-flowing from one person to another.

The empty water bottle will remain on my table as a reminder to be kind, to be giving and to accept graciously, with no strings attached.