Kind Kindred : Camila : Owl Winged Icarus

Kind Kindred

Goooood morning to each & every one of you Lovelies! This week we’re bringing Camila Marquez into our soul tribe. I seriously think she’s the bee’s knees, so refreshing. Her words really just drilled down one of the core messages of Kind Over Matter — kindness & sincerity in words & actions. So awesome! We hope you enjoy today’s post! Peace, in all you do. – Jenn


Pink Gerbera Daisy, originally uploaded by alysonfennell.

Several years ago, my friend Nova, Santa Fe’s guardian angel, hugger extraordinaire, lover of all life forms and I sat down in Il Vicino pondering with great fascination how incredible it was that there are over 6 billion people in the world, each harboring their own stories, experiences, lessons, solemnities, and passions. Unfortunately, there were so few people that we walked by every day that we truly knew, who we took the time to get to know. Over the next 30 minutes, it was decided that we would walk out of the restaurant, and start a conversation with the first person we saw. Keep in mind that this was Santa Fe, a relatively new-agey sort of town, but nonetheless, people have their guards up.

We walked out of the restaurant, strolling down West San Francisco Street when we saw this older man sitting at the bus station with an NYPD hat and a rolling cart carrying his belongings. Nova and I looked at him, knowing he was our experimental “victim.”

“Hello, how are you doing today?” we asked.

After staring at us for a few moments he hesitantly replied, “I’m fine thank you, how are you?” just the typical, passing by conversation.

That was not nearly enough. We continued asking him about himself, sitting beside him and after he realized that we genuinely wanted to know his story and weren’t attempting to ask for money, he revealed that he was from Turkey and came to New Mexico because it reminded him of home. In fact, I looked like his daughter who was a hat designer in France. Before too long, the city bus came and picked him up, but we had taken the first step towards broadening our human community.

This is something that has always remained with me, encouraging me to take the time to reach out to others, something I try to do on a regular basis. I remember in college when my friend Z and I would sit in front of our freshman dorm offering chocolate donuts to people passing by. Another time, I remember walking down the street in Ithaca, NY when a kind, burly-bearded man gave me a pink gerbera daisy and told me to have a nice day.

Too often, we, as humans walk by one another only seeing the outer appearance of our fellow human beings. It takes courage and a different mindset to step outside society’s norms and take the time to offer a helping hand to someone carrying their laundry, introduce and acquaint ourselves with the kid who plays on our sidewalk day-after day, or look the check-out-clerk at the local CVS in the eye and ask how they are truly doing.

So I urge you to broaden our world community by smiling and conversing with strangers, giving away flowers or popsicles to people you pass on the street, and taking the time to hear people’s stories. You never know the impact you will make.

These past couple of days have been über stressful for me as I packed up my old apartment and moved by foot to a new place several blocks away within a 24 hour span. Hundreds of people drove and walked by, seeing me struggling to carry a table on my shoulder, an air mattress on my back, and three bags filled with painting supplies on my other arm. Fortunately, a few people asked with sincerity in their voices if I needed help. Just this simple interaction gave me such faith that yes, we are connected as human beings, yes, people can be sympathetic, and yes, the kindness of strangers can make a difference. Take the time to talk to strangers.

Camila Márquez is a Santa Fean living in Hartford, Conn. She is currently an AmeriCorps VISTA working for a lovely organization called PeaceJam, which uses the inspiration of Nobel Laureates to encourage youth to work towards social change. In her spare time, Camila loves to follow her wanderlust, share food with friends, work on a plethora of art projects, and write about her experiences. You can read her blog at www.owlwingediccarus.blogspot.com or follow her on Twitter @ZiaCamila.

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