I’m meditating on kindness after an immense experience I just had with an extraordinary friend as he moved on from this life. Incredibly hard, and incredibly moving.
After being diagnosed with ALS, Ricardo Accorsi and his fiancé Linda Parker made the inspired decision to settle in Hawaii, ultimately on the beautiful island of Kauai. I’m an enthusiastic traveler with more and more experiences under my belt, but I hadn’t been there. I wanted to go, but not like this.
Today I’m reflecting on the wonderful people I met there. The long list includes retreat center proprietor, rental car dealer, waitresses, shop owners, nurses, doctors, and volunteers who had heard through the small-town grapevine about Ricardo and Linda and the hard-as-nails situation they were facing together.
The word kindness doesn’t totally capture my sense of these people. The local folks I crossed paths with are wise. They have their priorities in order. Their hearts are open. They take care of each another.
And when a stranger comes into their midst, they make a new friend. I’d heard that Ricardo had been warmly received despite his increasingly extreme circumstances, that people had rallied around him and Linda with no other goal than to assist them in ways that were no walk in the park. When I got there, I experienced the same as a lone traveler on a heart mission.
So as I reflect on searing heartbreak mitigated by extraordinary kindness, I offer you the following:
Beautiful takeaways can come from heartbreak
- Your small kindnesses may in fact be huge. Free yourself up to be your best with everyone. You may never know the difference you’ve made by some gesture that was effortless for you.
- Don’t wait until tomorrow. Go ahead and live passionately, lovingly, with gratitude for life’s journey, today.
- Make time for nature, for delicious food and drink, for unhurried conversation. You deserve it, and the difference you make may be right there, in those relaxed moments.
- Just be you. Share you with the world, by which I mean with all the fascinating, mysterious souls whose paths you cross on any given day. You’re an original. Let the world experience you. The real you.
And I’ll be trying to live that way, too.
Meanwhile, dear Ricardo Accorsi will never cease to inspire me. I imagine him designing kickass creative spaces in non-ordinary reality. In the midst of sorrow, that thought and my memories of the kind people of Kauai bring me joy, and always will.