Monthly Archives: September 2014

Rescued by kindness: Silent heroes in Thurles

Unknown-2It was Thurles. Lunchtime. I was delivering one of my seminars. Someone wanted to talk to me for a few minutes before we broke for lunch. Those few minutes shrunk my break. There was insufficient time for me to find a coffee shop, park and then digest in comfort. So I headed for a service station to acquire a takeaway coffee and sandwich.

I was bamboozled by the choice of wraps. There was a chicken, mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes and rocket leaves warp cut in two parts begging for my attention. Beside it was some serious competition for my taste buds – a home-cooked ham, basil, roasted peppers and red onion wrap also in two halves.

“Can I help you?” the lady behind the counter asked.

“Just can’t decide which one to choose at the moment” I replied, buying myself more time to deliberate on the decision.

Unknown-4Then it just happened. You know when you just say something without thinking. It just spurts out. The lady looked to me for my decision and I said, “Could I have half of each of them?” My daughter was with me. She withdrew almost to disown me. I was rocking the system too much, especially in foreign territory. But the lady smiled. It looked promising.  “Maybe, that would leave you with two odd halves.” I said to allow her options. “It’s okay!” she replied, “All I have to do is make a few more and that would leave you happy!” “Thank you so much” I said in response to her warmth and flexibility. I’m actually an enthusiast when it comes to happiness.” She laughed and I wore a smirk on my face for my daughter.

imagesNext for coffee and to the other end of the shop. I poured my own coffee and pushed the lid down on my takeaway cup. As I approached the counter a horrendous thing happened. I was stupidly gripping the cup by the lid when the lid came free. Splash! All the coffee spluttered itself over the counter. The lady’s fast reflexes saved her. I glanced quickly at my snow-white new shirt and my favourite tie. Both survived without splashes. My daughter hurried away in a second act of disownment. It was mortifying as a puddle of coffee spread across the counter and down on the floor. The kind lady was more concerned for me than herself. “Did you burn your hands?” she asked. I grabbed some towel to help clean the mess. She stopped me on my tracks. “Leave that to me” she continued and she proceeded to fetch me another coffee.


A little kindness goes a long way.  It doesn’t always flow. I was in a restaurant last week and asked the waitress for some vinegar. She looked at me as if I had two heads. I wonder what would have happened if I had spilled it all over the floor!


P.S. If you know someone who you think would find these e-mails useful, interesting or enjoyable, please help me spread the word and forward it to them with a request to sign up themselves

P.P.S. If you’re reading this because someone else forwarded it to you, just go to and join me to receive future e-mails directly.