When I sipped the tea, it was like sweet warm nectar, a balm to the senses. It made me feel good almost instantly. For an Eckhart Tolle inspired moment, the internal self-chatter stopped. I had no worries or concerns. Life was perfect.
Tea and kindness; the perfect combination.
There is a Turkish étterem (or eatery) that my husband and I frequent in a town near us in Hungary. It isn’t flash or big or expensive. It doesn’t need to be. It serves good fare, has decent service, the establishment is clean and tidy, and it is cheap. But that is not the reason we go there so often.
We go there because the people are kind.
Before our house was renovated we did not have a working bathroom, so often my husband would go to the local spa, not only to have a break from the relentless work, but also to have a good wash. It so happened that the spa was next to this little Turkish restaurant which served a great falafel dish. One day, when he was feeling particularly tired and a bit smelly, my husband stopped by for a quick bite to eat before going to the spa. And it was on this day that the owner came out unexpectedly with a rich soothing glass of Turkish tea.
No words, no fuss, just an unspoken understanding. And a smile.
And so the tradition has continued. When we visit and the proprietor is on the premises, he always comes out to greet us, and we always get a glass of wonderful tea. Good service? Maybe.
For me it is a constant reminder that it is the small kindnesses in life that make us rich. We can aspire to be anything we want, we can delude ourselves that buying stuff makes us happy, or that when we get X, Y or Z then everything will be fine. We can even envelope ourselves in beautiful expensive clothes, but it all turns into a dull and meaningless empty ache in the end, unless we are putting something back. And no I don’t mean by donating to a charity each month to relieve of us of our guilt, although of course this is helpful for the charity concerned.
In life, it is kindness and compassion that count. Not necessarily some grand gesture, but kindness and compassion in our everyday lives.
Acts of kindness do not need to be grand acts for all to see.
I was once helped by a complete stranger to push my broken down car to the side of the road when it had unceremoniously come to a complete halt on Tower Bridge in London. I might add that this was in rush hour; now that was a big act which I was very grateful for. However I have been just as grateful for somebody holding a door open for me, or saying a kind word on an otherwise miserable day.
We all know that all our actions count to somebody somewhere, but sometimes we forget the rules. It is the little things that can sometimes make the biggest difference. Unfortunately the reverse is also true. It is the little thoughtless things that people can do and say that can sometimes cause the greatest damage.
We need to be careful with our missives, as thoughtless words or actions have a way of finding their way back to us. Of course, intentional actions are mega boomerangs. Good or bad.
At the end of the day I believe that if we can’t be anything, then we should at least try to be kind.
For me, I am sticking with the Turkish tea.