We have mentioned many times the kindness and generosity we have come across on our travels and it was interesting to see a couple of fellow bloggers discussing this recently. Familyonbikes posted a blog about the compassion and care she experienced from strangers when she fell ill whilst travelling alone and links it to 1dad1kid who also talks about this in his blog this week with a discussion and a long list of instances where strangers went out of their way to help them and show them kindness, some big some small but all gratefully received.
We have been humbled by the generosity shown to us in many acts of kindness, from the blessing and support given to our plans by our family and friends, Tim the gasman who answered all the boys questions whilst working on the boat in Topsham, many experienced skippers who spent hours talking to us about our plans and giving us advice at various points, old friends in Gosport, especially Steve who took us under his wing and really looked after us and made us all feel welcome. On the sea survival course the instructors went out of their way to accommodate the children within the class. In L’Aber Wrac’h people went out of their way to find us and discuss our repair work, finding us support, a suitable beach, help to get there and even sorting out electricity for a while and then popping round for a chat to make sure everything was OK.
In Gijon the people are amazing, the generosity of the marina staff is second to none and twice now at big public events we have been ‘adopted’ by strangers who have made sure we knew what was happening, made sure we could see properly and even lifted the children so they could get the best view. Sailors help each other as part of a large family, people running down pontoons to help with ropes, tools are lent between boats and at St Gilles where a snowballing chain of events left our then 9 year old in charge of mooring lines whilst I stood uselessly on the pontoon, others came to our help, encouraging him, trying to radio the marina for us and a small crowd eventually helped catch the ropes and safely bring the boat alongside before clapping our son, we were very, very grateful to them all.
There have been so many more little acts, patience as we try to comprehend a foreign language, the offer of lifts to the supermarket, a sweet or some other titbit, I could go on but I suspect you get the idea. I have seen other bloggers also discussing this in the past, one family recently returned from a 7 year circumnavigation believed that one of the biggest things they had learned was how important acts of kindness are and that they were determined to introduce as many as possible into their lives towards other people, a sentiment we completely share.
The children have seen and appreciated these kindnesses too and hopefully will take that forward into their future lives, passing on the compassion and generosity to others around them, maybe one of the best life lessons we could provide. And to all those who have passed through our lives with kindness, whether briefly or for longer we thank you, we are indebted to you and you will remain in our hearts.