Saturday, 29 April 2017 15:05

A Generous Heart and a Kind Word

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A Generous Heart

The impact of a kind word and a generous heart can be quite incredible at times. The interesting thing is, we don’t know when either will be impactful.  Sometimes our overtures may be rejected or spurned with hostility resulting unfortunately with us sometimes  holding back.  What a tragedy that is.  Other times, it is simply amazing.

During our 25th anniversary cruise, our hospitality team member who kept our room tidy gave Kristine a $50 gift card to use toward a spa treatment.  Kristine utilized it toward a manicure and pedicure, and in doing so, she met Monique the nail tech from Jamaica.  We had ported at Ocho Rios earlier in the week, which is where Monique is from.  They had a lot to talk about since we had been literally in her neighborhood.

Both Kristine and I were smitten with the crew, typically asking questions about their families, home, contracts and time off when the opportunity presented itself. During the course of their conversation, Monique shared a touching story about going to the store in Jamaica prior to beginning her new tour (contract) on the Carnival Vista.

Monique had gone to the store to buy some groceries; at the checkout she found herself behind a mother with three small children. The mother had a cart full of groceries and her children desperately wanted some sweet treats.  Monique saw the money the woman had in her hands and knew what was about to unfold.  They didn’t have enough money to pay for everything they had, which resulted with them sorting through the items in the cart to decide what to put back and what to pay for.  For those of us who have either been in this situation or have witnessed something similar – it is gut wrenching.  Monique watched this unfold, focusing on the children and knowing they would be leaving empty handed.  She then did something incredible.

Monique, only having limited funds herself, paid the shortfall herself. She rationalized that, her new tour was about to begin so she would be fine.  She further rationalized and understood, it would come back to her eventually in some spectacular way or another.  And it was worth it to see the family’s despair transform to joy. 

A Kind Word

The cruise ended. I was melancholy the day before.  We had so much fun, met so many wonderful people that it truly didn’t feel natural to be leaving.  We disembarked and took a taxi to a hotel that Kristine had booked.  We were tired.  While sitting in the lobby quietly, waiting for our room to be ready and just resting, we noticed another couple.  Come to find out, they had similarly just finished a cruise as well and were not have a very good morning at all.

The couple seemed familiar in a way that you may not believe or understand. The woman was trying to be upbeat and take their morning difficulties in stride (after all they did just finish a wonderful cruise) while the man was hell bent on being pissed off and upset.  He was grumbling and grunting his displease with not only their morning but I think the world in general. He was powerful in his displeasure.  They ended up sitting down with us.

I took a chance, something I sometimes do and greeted both of them with a hearty Good Morning, a smile and intentionally radiated a loving and calming energy. The woman responded in kind, I think appreciative of a kind word and a bit of good cheer.  We started talking about the cruises we were on and soon learned the source of their morning difficulties.  Almost immediately, I noticed something quite wondrous; the man’s demeanor completely change, like stopping and turning on a dime.  He turned to face Kristine and me, and joined the conversation.  It was a beautiful thing to witness. We talked for a while and eventually parted ways.  However, since we both had arrived prior to check-in and had to wait a while, we continued to notice them.  And his bad mood never did return.

Never underestimate the power of a kind word. Don’t stop being kind due to occasionally meeting a curmudgeon who might reject your kindness, because there is always somebody in the wings who will be lifted by your kindness.  Who knows – you may even make their day, or they may make yours!

Blessings!

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