Thanks is reward enough

This week has already been busy yet its only Wednesday.  Perhaps its true that time speeds up as we get older 😉  I’m not sure how I worked full-time, studied part-time, had a family, ran a home and travelled extensively while still finding time for the odd TV programme.  Somehow I managed to squash it all in to 168 hours a week for the past 20 years… maybe that’s why I have wrinkles and white hair?!


I’m prone to packing as much as possible into the time available and I’ve been this way for longer than I care to remember.  The volume of activities occupying my life are largely of my own doing.  I could’ve given up studying, been less committed to my career or switched my phone off every night but I’m fairly sure I’d have found other ways to occupy my time. I’m fairly sure that my desire to live each day to the full stems from being very aware that reaching retirement isn’t something everyone gets to do.   If I’m one of those people I want to make sure I haven’t wasted too much time slobbing about when I could’ve been doing something useful.


My train journey on Monday was meant to be an uneventful opportunity to catch up on some reading and start researching education technologies in more depth.  As it happened the train was delayed by over 45 minutes and I gained a companion for much of the journey.  I’m not sure if it’s the fact that I’m a middle-aged woman, look unlikely to rob anyone or that I appear to know how to deal with technology that makes me seem non-threatening to elderly women travelling alone.  Whatever it is I don’t mind because I’m quite happy to sit and talk to older women as a means to pass the journey for both of us. This week was no exception.


An elderly lady joined me at Oxford and we spent the rest of the journey holding an impromptu lesson on how to get the best from an iPad, how to join train or other WiFi services and options for mobile connectivity.  The lady was 81 years old. She told me she was paying (a rather large sum) for weekly one-to-one lessons from Apple.  After an hour and a half on the train she said she’d gained far more from our time together and thanked me for helping her. She wanted to know how I managed to get through life this way, giving up my time to complete strangers whilst neglecting whatever I needed to do. She wanted to know how I could go through life being so kind.


The lady’s observations threw me a little.  I don’t find helping strangers unusual and if sharing some knowledge makes another person’s life easier then so much the better.    I would like to think that if I’m old and in need of assistance one day someone will devote a little time to help me.  I smiled at the lady and told her I come from a family where helping others is part of our DNA;  we grew up knowing kindness costs nothing yet makes a world of difference.  I helped her take her suitcase from the train, wished her a pleasant day and was about to set off to meet friends for lunch when the lady stopped me.  She said she still found it hard to see how I get through life being so kind to others and asking nothing in return. I told her it was my pleasure, no trouble at all (I was just sharing knowledge after all) and wished her well. Making her happy,  a little more technology-aware and receiving her words of thanks were reward enough for me 🙂


English: The logo for Apple Computer, now Appl...





11 thoughts on “Thanks is reward enough

  1. A little kindness always goes a long way and really costs nothing. If only more people would do the same. On an alternate note; Perhaps that’s why I sometimes get very annoyed when other people can’t even be bothered to say ‘thank-you,’ it costs nothing, after all. With love and best wishes always. Dad xxx


    • You are so right Dad, kindness is free, it’s easy to offer and it costs nothing. Yet it seems to be increasingly rare these days. I say thank you so often that people think I’m nuts… I don’t care, I’d rather be ultra-polite than rude and ungrateful. Thank you for being a brilliant Dad 🙂 xxx


    • It’s a shame that we all have the capacity for kindness and consideration but some of us choose not to use it. I don’t understand why and I guess I never will but I can honestly say that I’ve met some lovely people on my travels and through blogging so feel blessed to have found kind souls and kindred spirits 🙂


    • I think I’m a simple soul, I try to avoid causing pain or suffering and help wherever I can. To me this is what being human is all about but my professional life brought me into contact with too many who’d be all to happy to sell their granny if it suited them. I always found that terribly sad.


    • I will definitely remember this encounter in spite of my run in with chemo-induced memory loss. There is something very special in the ability for one soul to help another and often the tiniest thing means so much 🙂


    • I hope one day that I might be elderly, it’s a long shot but still worth holding on to. When I get there I know technology will have moved on exponentially so I very much hope I happen across someone who’ll be willing to help me understand it rather than seeing me as old, incapable and of no value to society. I hope there is still kindness and compassion in the world should I happen to end up old and in need of support.


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