As I prepared to walk the Portuguese Camino de Santiago in the summer of 2018, I thought back to my first solo trip to Lisbon, Portugal, and the random act of kindness of a coffee shop owner on my first day.
The owner asked me if this was my first time in Portugal and whether I was on my own. I answered yes to both questions which sent him off to his kitchen with a twinkle in his eyes.
As I soaked up the atmosphere and relaxed into holiday mode, the owner returned with a heart-shaped chocolate brownie with a candle on the top. “Welcome to my country,” he said. His random act of kindness brought a tear or two to my eyes, I swear. He asked for nothing in return.
As I prepared to return to Portugal, I hoped that my recollections of Portuguese people being down to earth yet kind still held true and I was not disappointed.
Random acts of kindness are second nature to the Portuguese. Indeed, they are incredibly kind people. They help without being asked and they don´t expect anything in return. They don´t even do it to make themselves look good. I like to think that they do it for the love.
If you have received a random act of kindness, think back to how you felt. Random acts of kindness can feel like receiving a hug. They make you feel warm and light up your heart. Most importantly, they serve as a reminder that the world is a good place full of good people.
If you have given a random act of kindness, remember how it felt to see the person´s face light up in appreciation. How helping someone out just because you can, without expectation, makes you feel good. The feeling is priceless.
Random acts of kindness are one of the reasons why I am thrilled to have moved to Portugal. I’ve been amazed at the random acts of kindness that have been bestowed upon me. It makes me a better person, as I remember to return these acts to other people who may be in need.
Do it for the love, my friends. Pay it forward with a random act of kindness because random acts of kindness do make a difference. A random act of kindness just might change someone’s world.
(c) Samantha Wilson 2019. All Rights Reserved.