It is a beautiful end of March morning and I’m taking few hours off from work just to relax. I am supposed to have family mediation later, which usually means some unpleasant emotions on the way. This is why I decide to have a posh brunch in my favourite spot in town…
I love a to take a dart instead of a bus. From looking at the Dublin Bay, the mood is shifting immediately. But surprisingly there is no train. All movement has stopped and the guy from the station informs, that there is a strike and no buses are operating either. Deep breath. Or few of them.
The weather is really nice, so I take a walk to a nearby town. A morning stroll in the sunshine and a gentle sea breeze to catch a taxi is not that bad in the end. But in the small town, taxis seem to be a rarity today. I must look like a person in need, as one stops in front of me. The window slides down and passenger from the back seat asks if I am going to town. Sure I am.
When You Meet a Stranger
Immediately we are starting a conversation with our driver. Taxi drivers are legendary in Dublin. You are not always able to understand their accent, especially if you are a blow to the island and they are from The North. But usually they are self-made philosophers, so the common ground can be easily met. Whereas the public transport users are pulling their hair, riots are about to begin, our driver is very content. This is a like a Christmas day for him and his fellow profession colleagues. The bus lane is very crowded.
My newly met commute companion is Cork-born and bred and he is a living proof to one of my favourite stereotype about countrymen. He is a genuinely nice person. We chat how the lack of a train and bus can ruin someone’s day or at least annoy a bit. He shares another strike-related story when a couple of years back he was waiting for Luas (it is a name for a Dublin’s tram in case you are not from town). Going for a job interview. Or rather trying to get there on time, which without a working Luas was a bit difficult task to accomplish. But there a random act of kindness happened, which meant a stranger offering a lift to people waiting at a stop. He was the only one to take the offer. Other people were too surprised or simply afraid of body organs kidnappers.
How to be Kind
Today he is paying back with his own good will gesture. Just by being kind.
I leave the taxi in Donnybrook and walk through beautiful streets of Dublin with a smile on my face. The sun is shining. Or maybe there is a little drizzle. But it doesn’t matter. It just reminds me of what Jonathan Carroll once wrote:
“I firmly believe in small gestures: pay for their coffee, hold the door for strangers, over tip, smile or try to be kind even when you don’t feel like it, pay compliments, chase the kid’s runaway ball down the sidewalk and throw it back to him, try to be larger than you are particularly when it’s difficult. People notice, people appreciate. I appreciate when they’re done to (for) me. Small gestures can be an effort, or actually go against our grain (“I’m not a big one on paying compliments…”) but the irony is that almost every time you make them, you feel better about yourself. For a moment life suddenly feels lighter, a bit more Gene Kelly dancing in the rain.”