I think it is important to do nice things for people, and I don't think we do it enough. And what I am talking about is doing something because it is the right thing to do. Not because it makes you money, or you are required to do it, or the person you do it for will some how repay you. I am talking about selfless acts of kindness.
We don't see enough of them, and I think it is the biggest problem our world is facing. Wars are fought, people are trafficked, food that is harmful is marketed as healthful all to make people wealthy(or wealthier if you prefer). A quarter of Americans don't believe climate change is real because politicians are lying to them, and those politicians are lying because they are getting paid to lie by companies making billions who don't want the status quo to change. Negative of me to think this way, I know, But it is hard for me to escape reality.
This is a commercial for a bank in Thailand. And while this bank probably isn't doing anything great for the people who use it, the message is amazing, and it makes for a heart warming ad.
I mention this because someone did something for me recently that in retrospect was amazing. About two years ago when we started planning AGAP a young woman I worked with named Mel, asked me about the trip I was planning and said she always wanted to do a trip like that. I said "why can't you" she came up with all the reasons she had not to do a trip, and I refuted - as I am practiced at doing - each and everyone. She finally realized that I was right, and that there was no real reason that she couldn't do a trip of this nature. She delved into the planning with me whole heartedly. She bought a boat, and a drysuit, and a paddle. She worked on her paddle skills and became an amazing paddler in just a year or so. I was excited to paddle with her in Alaska.
Then she got a job offer she couldn't refuse, and that put her dreams of a big Alaskan paddling trip on hold. She immediately offered up her boat and a large portion of her gear to anyone who might need it. She was never asked, it was completely selfless, and at the time it didn't occur to me how wonderfully selfless it was. She did it because she wanted to make sure the trip that she had worked so hard on, happened. With her or without her. Her reward was the trip being completed. I don't know that I would loan out my boat without being asked... I don't know that I would loan out my boat anyway.
A number of people have come forward with gear loans to help make this trip happen, and each and every one is doing it for no reason other than to help us out. It is a really wonderful thing to see occur.
This is what the world needs more of, because it makes the world a better place.
Thanks Mel, You are amazing.