Kindness vs freedom

During the pandemic lockdown I had my first ever cup of tea in the bush. Offered to me by someone crossing my path. Given with kindness and no request for company or barter.

I normally travel light, with just my phone. Therefore, this unexpected kindness and the Mary Poppins-ish unveiling of a tea pot and cups flowing from a backpack took me by surprise. I at first offered a polite no, but with a kind persistence being returned, my response shifted to a yes, and as they continued their merry way, there I was near my creek, sitting with a cup of hot, sweet tea. Surprised and enriched.

Is it my Nordic coolness that often has me preferring to walk on my own? To say no to offers of help or kindness? To feel that I better do it on my own?

Is it the big headline fight of Freedom vs Kindness? Is it freedom trumping kindness?

Maybe for my walks it’s just that I treasure my weekends of alone-time after a busy week with lots of lovely and giving human connection. To not have others in-my-face in this chosen solitude of nature’s best.

Whatever the ongoing, internal battle is; living in Australia has shown me so much kindness, curiosity and laid-back-ness. Allowed me to offer the same.

Maybe it’s because we were unattached when we moved downunder. That we knew no one and had no family or network. Maybe that’s what allowed us to start fresh and be more open to others and ourselves.

Having and appreciating our own space and different ways of living and doing things. And then connecting with others respectfully, curiously, sharing space for a little moment in time. Crossing paths in nature for example, we may never meet again but add value and joy and care to each other in this given moment.

If I compare this to my Denmark (or any of your places where you’re part of a tribe and spend most of your time with the same people), you nearly can’t create new spaces. You get caught in repeated conversations, expectations, and activities locked into an accepted pattern.

I love the personal freedom to be and express and change – combined with the meaningful connections, whether repeated or random. That probably is kindness AND freedom. I’ll go for that combination.