Basic Human Kindness

Joy - North Manchester, Indiana
Entered on March 10, 2008
Age Group: 50 - 65

You can count on kindness from other people when they recognize that you have a need that they can fill. I try to remember that being needy is not bad, and to help others. There is within humans the capacity to show to others basic human kindness that is not rare but a quality that can be counted upon.

A few years ago, I traveled in Europe alone over the Christmas through the New Year holiday season. I took a train from a town in the southern part of the Netherlands to Cologne, in Germany. To accomplish this I needed to change stations at Achen. As I traveled, an elderly man, his wife and their dog boarded the train. I could not speak Dutch, or communicate with them in any way except to smile. When we arrived at the place I needed to change trains, the man kindly took my suitcase, found a kiosk that had my connecting train, and took me to the proper platform. He understood my need and just filled it. I expressed gratitude to him and he went on his way.

Later in the same trip, I needed to buy a ticket to get from Amsterdam to the airport in the morning. A young man who looked as if he was of middle Eastern descent—this was after 9/11 kindly helped me accomplish this and gave me advice to avoid a begger that was in the train station. He made a choice to help an American lady who was traveling alone and needed assistance. I probably could have accomplished both of these on my own, but the help and advice were so appreciated.

I remember walking on a busy road in northern Michigan and seeing a lady suddenly stop in the road as she approached me. She had noticed something in the road. She got out to see what it was and then got a towel from her car and picked up a very small kitten that was in the roadway, and took it with her. While I do not know, I’d imagine since she did stop for animals, she took care of it as well. Basic human kindness was at work again in a practical way. I believe that it is definitely a quality we as humans express.