kindness activist

kindness activist

Friday, August 26, 2016

Shot of Kindness

This kindness story is one that shows how small acts of kindness can make a big difference.

We were in Edmonton, Alberta (Canada) recently for a Fringe Festival.  From the moment we hit town, we had a hard time.  I mean, seriously, a HARD time. 

One excellent thing about Fringe festivals is that the organizers usually arrange a “billet” for out of town performers.  “Billets” are rooms in people’s homes that they are willing to open up for artists to stay in free of charge.  It’s a terrific concept!!  We have billeted in loads of cities and almost always have fantastic experiences (in fact, an upcoming Kindness Activist piece will be about one such amazing billet!!)

Anyway, in Edmonton, the first apartment we were given to stay in was, how shall I explain this, not the best…  I don’t want to be rude, but to put it simply, we were in town for two weeks and my partner David had to perform a very physical show 7 of those days, and we NEEDED a place we could rest.  The first place we were assigned…  Not much rest was going to happen there.  We made due with a few sleepless hours, then stepped out to try and re-group and figure out what to do.  We popped into a youth hostel, thinking we might end up there.  And then we made our way to SECOND CUP.

SECOND CUP - Whyte Ave, Edmonton
We like a good cup of coffee in the morning.  We know the shop Second Cup from previous visits to Canada and it is a very reliable place to find a nice cup of java!  So on that first morning in Edmonton, we straggled into the Second Cup on Whyte Ave (near the Festival), still wearing the clothes we had travelled and “slept” in.  We set up at a table, preparing to email the festival billet coordinator and ask if there was some way they could re-house us.  And we ordered breakfast, which of course included COFFEE.

Giovanni - unequivocally Canadian and unequivocally KIND
And that is where Gio comes in.  Gio was working the counter that morning.  Maybe he could tell we were exhausted and frazzled, I don’t know.  But for some reason, Gio asked, “Would you like an extra shot in that cappuccino, for no extra charge?”. 

Seriously, I about cried.  YES.  Thank you. 

Big cappuccino (in costume), at an outdoor cafe in Edmonton
Here we were, wondering where the heck we were going to sleep, how we were going to afford a hostel or hotel if it came to that, and this KIND MAN offers an extra shot. 

I don’t think it was the caffeine – I think it was his KINDNESS that gave us the little boost we needed.  We sat – ate, emailed, drank, rested, and regrouped.  Then we headed out into the world again (and ended up getting moved late that afternoon to a lovely billet with a fabulous family that was perfect for us).

Coffffffeeee at Second Cup is terrific!
After we finished our coffee I told Gio about the Kindness Activist project and that I would come back in and give him his official button another day (because we didn’t have our belongings with us when we met him).  But wouldn’t you know it, for all the times we went back into Second Cup during our stay, he was never working again while we were there.  Turns out he is an owner of the shop.  I don’t know how often he is behind the counter, but color me glad he was the morning that we needed kindness the most. 

Coffee at Chez Janette in Paris, France (one of David's favorite cafes)
Gio, I hunted for you but couldn’t find you again.  You are a man of mystery!!  But your Kindness Activist button will be coming in the mail. 

See if you can give someone a little “extra shot” of kindness today, won’t you?  At no extra charge.  J

Coffee at Henry's Coffee Shop in Indianapolis, Indiana
P.S.- the coffee drinking photos included here are from a large series of photos called “Coffee Around the World” that I have been adding to for years.

Another super large coffee at The Mission in San Diego, CA

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