Young Man Traveler feet standing alone with sunset mountains on background Lifestyle Travel concept outdoor - In the last few hours before settling off in what I expect to be the journey of a lifetime, I can't help thinking about kindness and its ramifications.

In the last few hours before settling off in what I expect to be the journey of a lifetime (or the start of a lifetime of journeys), I can’t help thinking about kindness and its ramifications.

“When the news reminds you 24/7 that this world is an ugly and dangerous place to tread, you don’t expect anyone to catch your back.”

Unlike Ms. Dubois, I wasn’t used to relying on the kindness of strangers. When even friendly hands have been proved to bite, how can you trust people you don’t even know? When the news reminds you 24/7 that this world is an ugly and dangerous place to tread, you don’t expect anyone to catch your back. Especially when you belong to a minority and regarded as a kind of freak. It was traveling, of course, which showed me how utterly wrong I was, and most of all hitchhiking.

Hitchhiking is a leap of faith for both parties. So many things could go wrong when you share the tiny space of a car with someone you don’t have the faintest clue about. Yet, for me it has always been magical. I have been literally rescued from situations that could have been at least very uncomfortable (getting lost in the Black Forest in Germany or having to spend the night in a road in Patagonia without any equipment, for starters) by drivers who decided to take a chance on me. Moreover, after some friendly conversations, some of them even got out of their way to see me safe to my destination. I remember hiking for more than 25 miles around a lagoon one day, only to realize I still had more than 20 miles ahead and night was falling fast. I had to catch the last train to get back to my town and it sounded more and more impossible as cars weren’t even slowing down at my lifted thumb. I couldn’t really blame them: the shadows huddled my figure, making me look somehow scruffy and bulky.  I was losing hope fast when suddenly one did stop. There were three generations of women inside. The grandmother even went to the backseat with her granddaughter to allow me to sit in the more spacious front seat. The mother drove me not only to town, but first to a bus station and -when I couldn’t get tickets- then to the train station, where she waited until she ensured I could get home. She wasn’t scared of having a total stranger in a car with her family. Or maybe she had been for a split second, before her kindness won the battle.

Hitchhiker holding out thumb shot from behind - In the last few hours before settling off in what I expect to be the journey of a lifetime, I can't help thinking about kindness and its ramifications.

While preparing for the trip I’m starting today, I also received amazing acts of generosity. Friends and acquaintances showered me with everything from a place to stay on my last days in Buenos Aires to six-month’s worth of testosterone shots, including also camping gear, trekking shoes, money, contacts and lots of love. I have been rendered speechless by their gifts and affection. Most of the things that worried me have been solved and again I feel rescued by kindness.

“Every day I try to give back to the world just a tiny bit of what I’ve been given.”

I try to do my share too. I strongly believe kindness to be the modern heroism. Making others happy is the ultimate superpower. So I try. Every day I try to give back to the world just a tiny bit of what I’ve been given. It might be only by smiling at someone who needed it, or by letting go of a pretty little thing that would make someone as happy as it made me. Sometimes the only thing that I necessary is a nice word or a little time to help someone in need. Or matching a stray kitten with their forever family. Sometimes it does involve some hassle or hard work, but it always makes me immensely happy.

There is no joy like the one in connecting with other beings. Nothing has been as effective as kindness when it comes to dethroning my dark thoughts about being a sort of monster that no one could love. And even when I watch the awful stories in the news, replayed by media who seem intent on making us fear our neighbors, I don’t let it get me now. Because I know about the raw, primeval power that exists in such a simple gesture as reaching out for the hand of another human being.

  • Dana DuBois

    Thank you Bruno Cinti, I try not to fear, but when I love myself I also give it to others in many ways. This change that I am going through finally has cost some. To give you an Idea, I was a Nazarene Pastor for about 20 yrs. Love is always easy to give and sometimes not accepted. I’ve always lived under others and how they would have me be, even if it meant beatings, called names, etc.

    I finally took a stand 4 yrs ago that I am a woman and of course people thought I was nuts or on something. This year I made a resolution to be me and am trusting those that say they will back me, be there for me. I am going back to work 1/17 and will be dressed and act as a female. No more hiding, I’ve worn women’s Jeans, T-shirts and leggings for the last 4 years. I sew so I have made skirts and things that I wear out now.

    Brave yes, scared no. If someone is going to cause me harm, they will do. My work says thank you for coming out. They knew I was a MTF 3 yrs a ago, I was afraid of what people thought of me. I was afraid of letting people down or seeing me as queer, gay, bi, or whatever they do not like. Now I can set out and help others that are there that have been afraid to come out. Fear is the real problem here.

    My educational back ground is BA in Philosophy and Psychology almost a Masters, that I really don’t need, almost 62 woohoo. I have studied other people and forgot to look within me to solve my problem instead. The now Christian Church would not accept me now, I am tainted goods. However, I still feel Gods presence and love for me. That was the key that brought me out, and I feel led to help others with there lives also. You can be what you know you are and not fear.

    • Bruno Sebastián Cinti

      I’m so glad your resolution is to be yourself. And I know you will find hardships but most of all, love. And by being who you are you will be able to help others even more than you already do. Hugs, Dana. I back you. Feel free to contact me if you need to talk or anything 🙂

      • Dana DuBois

        Thanks Bruno, hugs back and hope we talk again. you may add me to your facebook as friend if you would like.

  • Emma Sweet

    Bravo Bruno! You’re awesome.

    I agree completely with you and Dana. When we look to share love and kindness to others it comes back tenfold. Not every time of course. But that’s the way I like to live.

    • Bruno Sebastián Cinti

      Thanks Emma! You are as sweet as your last name 🙂

    • Dana DuBois

      So, very right, it will be a positive thing if we focus on it rather than let the negative come in. The job I do on phones is very much like that and people can really get to you, and there are a few that you just love to death as they show kindness back to you.