I remember in high school sitting shotgun driving with a friend and how he paid for the car behind us at a toll booth. When I asked him if he knew the people behind us he replied, “No way, that’s the best part. You get to make someone’s day and you don’t even know them.” That random act of kindness has stuck with me and still puts a smile on my face.
One of the things I love about festival culture is the opportunities to help one another, and the emerging gifting culture. A few weeks ago, I was at first festival of the year, dusty, feeling dry and a bit weary starting off another season. As I opened shop the first morning, I noted my hair was dry and full of static, wishing I had packed some hair oil. Minutes later, I had my first customer of the day, and through our conversation she told me that she had hair oil back at camp and that she would bring it for me. We had just met, and a few hours later I was pleasantly surprised that she came back with some friends to gift a bottle of argan oil since she had two and did not need both. I was so touched by that simple act, a stranger freely giving to me something that I needed in the moment.
Fast forward to Lucidity this past weekend, I had a customer trying on crowns, who showed me how tangled her hair was. I still had my bottle of argan oil with me, and I chose to gift it forward. My new friend and I talked about the many opportunities for us to give to others throughout our day, and how in that moment we can act as angels. It often doesn’t take much effort on our part to turn around someone’s day, or help them out.
As we were talking my boyfriend Alan came back from the food vendors with sad news that no one was selling food. We were hungry, and tired with hours left before crew dinner. Before we had a chance to even scrounge in our food supplies, a man came out of the crew kitchen with a freshly baked loaf of bread for us. It was perfect timing and we felt so provided for. Soon we were giving out bread to our neighbors, and customers coming in. A few minutes later, that same man brought us a huge plate of tuna fish to go with our bread, and then some baked salmon. Within minutes we went from no food to literally feasting at our booth. Alan and I got to share with everyone around us, we must have fed at least 10 hungry people that day as we were all packing up.
This was a reminder to me that generosity attracts generosity. As we freely give of ourselves and our resources, people will pop up to do the same for us, often unbidden, by surprise, yet somehow still knowing exactly what we need.