November 13. It is said that yesterday was the world kindness day. A good reminder of the importance of being kind to others and to ourselves. And because so far this year has been weird and difficult to some, it is a good opportunity to spread smiles & good vibes 🙂

This #WorldKindnessDay was introduced in 1998 to encourage people to overlook boundaries. A day that should be “lived” everyday.  Kindness is a fundamental part of the human condition which bridges the divides of race, religion, politics, gender and zip codes. 

I do not often think about a special day to celebrate something like Earth Day, Oceans Day or Kindness Day. I would honestly compare these “important days” like drinking water, they are both fundamental parts of our human condition. 

Distractions of different kinds played a huge role in transforming the vision we have from the Earth and the Ocean, into something apart, a concept. Because we are disconnected from the natural world. Like Richard Louv said in his book, we do suffer from nature-deficit disorder.

Phones distract us; money makes us blind, it makes us fight… Distractions of different kinds, again and again. They make us forget about kindness many times. But it did not happen the same with the water we drink, yet. Maybe one day there is a new invention that makes us, humans, live without drinking water. 

Yesterday I thought that wearing a mask to avoid something in the air we breathe, was only happening in science fiction films. But today, it is happening all over the globe.

But, I am not here today to tell you what I think about the future.

¿You know what? The other day I went for a massage, for my back. A good friend of mine recommended me a place in Coruña called Ruen Thai. And you are probably wondering why I am telling you about this massage.

But here is the story

When I arrive at the place, there is this small lady that opens the door with a contagious smile on her face, and she tells me with her beautiful thai accent “5 minutes please and I am here for you”. 

At that moment I already felt she had something special. I didn’t know what, but it was something that contagiously gave me a good feeling.

During those 5 minutes I started to look around, observing all these thai elements, charts with the energy points in our bodies, and her diplomas of massage at the University of Thailand. 

She came right after those minutes, with the previous client she had. They were talking in between each other and I could see again in Toy, the small thai lady, all this energy she was putting into that girl that was her client. But it seemed she was doing no effort to smile, to make her laugh… It was just coming naturally. 

After checking out, Toy took the girl to the door and I could see her approaching Toy before opening the door. She gave Toy a huge hug saying “oh well, I see you then only after Christmas”. 

Her client was not spontaneous, she was coming to Toy every time since she met her. 

Believe me, I could see pure love there. It is hard to describe, but it was beautiful. Again, Toy had something special that she was spreading and it was contagious. 

And it was right after her client left, she kept moving all around with her funny gestures, tidying up everything while saying to me with her happy face and huge smile “okey so I am all yours tell me what is happening to you?”. So I told her my back was with so much tension because of surfing. I entered the massage room and I was amazed by the smell and the calmness I could feel there. I layed down with a huge smile and she came. Toy started to do her massage that seemed like a ritual. Warm oil and hands right in the points that were hurting more. We started to talk while she was incredibly pointing out every single muscle I was in pain with. 

I started to ask about how she ended up in Spain. She told me it was for love, but now she was widowed. And we start to talk about differences between Spain and Thailand, about the big culture thing with massages in Thailand, and her thoughts about what she was missing from her country.

Photo: Pexels

Toy came to Spain 25 years ago with a big cultural difference but with an open mind and heart to explore every place she could get to. She told me she loves to travel. Alone and with people. But she just loves to go. She told me she loves Spain but that to work as a freelancer is hard. “You just work to pay your bills. And you work again and again”. 

I looked at her, and I saw she was keeping a huge smile on her face. She continued talking.

“What I don´t like about here is that I don’t see love in people. I see people are scared of being robbed. I see people don’t trust you because they think you are going to steal them. I see there is disconnection. With phones. People don’t look at you and there is no love. There is no love in between young people. Your couple doesn’t love you if you are not prepared to pay half of the rent. There is no agriculture here and people don´t love the land. There was no one that gave me tomatoes, or lettuce. People don’t cultivate, they just go into big supermarkets to buy everything. There is no love… “

I was getting goosebumps. I looked at her face again and I could see a different expression. She was missing all of that here. She was talking with her heart and she was being serious with her own, funny and special style.

“In my country I work but I can live. In my country not only my neighbor gives me tomatoes, but he sometimes invites me to a meal in his place, with his siblings and wife. There is love in there, people share. People care. People love. And people love the land. People are kind”

Toy had something special. And that thing that she had, was kindness.

Photo: Ashan Rai

I tell you this story because I have always felt there was some kind of magic in asian cultures.

This was not the first time I noticed that good energy. I can tell you many others about some experiences in Indonesia for example, like when I understood a part of their magic and they explained to me about the 5 Pancasila principles. Or like the one about Suci.

Please don´t get me wrong. I am not saying there is no kindness in other cultures. For sure there is. I can tell you, I did travel all around Europe with no money and no phones, as part of a challenge, and I did find kindness.

I am just telling you that these experiences with asian cultures remind to me the power of being kind and respectful. Maybe as we develop more, we have more things in mind, we get distracted, and we forget, sometimes, about essential parts.

With all these stories I just want to remind you of the power of being kind. Kindness is an act of love and respect, to others and to ourselves, that helps create a better life. A life full of hope and good vibe.

Oceans, lands, people. It is all connected. We are one and we were given a superpower. Be kind 😉

“Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and desperation, but rather manifestations of strength and resolution.”

-Khalil Gibran-

Cover photo: Pexels

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