“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”
— Dalai Lama
It’s a rare day when I’m lost for words. Today was one of those days.
I was on the receiving end of an act of kindness — a simple but profound act — that touched the deepest place in my heart.
I had ridden my motorcycle, dubbed Kindness One, from Los Angeles to the center of Pittsburgh on a journey that began Aug. 10 and is fueled (and funded) only by the kindness of strangers. I had spent a few unfruitful hours trying to drum up some support for my trip.
Although I had met some kindhearted people, no one was willing to take a chance and put a stranger up for the night. I was feeling a little despondent (as tends to happen after a dozen rejections) and then an angel popped into my life.
I was walking through a downtown park and crossed paths with a man named Tony who exuded a positive vibe. We struck up a conversation. He told me he was homeless and lived with a few friends in a dilapidated garage. To my astonishment he offered to let me stay the night with him. He fed me, gave me a new set of clothes and recounted his stories of hope and hardship. He had practically nothing, and what little he did have, he gave to me.
His most important gift, though, was a piece of his heart. I told him he was the wealthiest man I’d ever met because real wealth does not come in the form of a hefty bank account. It’s more a full heart and an overflowing spirit, both of which Tony had in abundance.
So, Tony, thank you for bringing me into your life and letting me sleep beside you on a windy and rainy summer night. I cherish the time we spent together and am grateful that our paths crossed.