The Far Reaches of Hospitality

booth

Pebble Booth at ABC Kids Expo 2016

We just returned from a week in Vegas at the ABC Kids Expo. We had a fantastic show and every day I counted it a privilege to share the store of Pebble with new stores and bloggers coming through our booth. Speaking to strangers doesn’t come easily to this shy gal from the Midwest. Yet, holding the stories of these women in my heart, knowing that when I share those stories it gives opportunity for more women to be given the dignity of a fair paid job, gives me courage.  It was also delightful to reconnect with current customers and sales reps who also attended. Pebble’s amazing growth in the US would not have happened without this wonderful team of folks we are so honored to work with. We even squeezed in a Facebook livestream with Jessica of  The Leaky Boob and you can view it here.

Amidst the whirlwind of the week we took some time to enjoy a side of Vegas not everyone knows about – the mountains and the desert. This country gal cannot survive long in a building with no windows and thousands of people. We took a morning before the show opened to visit Mount Charleston. As the scenery changed from desert and wild donkeys to birch and aspen, the air became quite cold and we wished we had worn more layers. Our hike up Cathedral Rock took several glorious hours and the view from the top was breathtaking!

View from the top.

View from the top.

As we sat to catch our breath and soak it all in, a stranger approached us, Thermos in hand, and offered us a cup of hot tea. For a moment I thought I must be in Nepal or somewhere in SE Asia. Where in the US are you offered tea by a complete stranger? As we sipped our hot tea, I was both humbled and challenged. I think that one thing that will make America great are these small acts of kindness extended intentionally to strangers.

I’ve lived in and traveled in other countries for nearly a decade of my life. Bangladesh. India. Nepal. Thailand. Cambodia. Indonesia. Malaysia. In these places I was a complete stranger yet I was the recipient of uncountable acts of kindness.

Over and over…

Again and again…

These countries are great because the people in them are willing to be hospitable and show kindness to complete strangers. It is a way of life that often requires of them more than a little sacrifice.

In the earliest writings of the scriptures, we are instructed to be kind to the strangers among us and to share with them. When did we stop thinking this was a good idea? Kindness has always been a much more powerful force than guns and bombs, walls or money, yet it seems so many want to surround their lives with these things out of fear.

Kindness turns strangers into friends. I would rather be surrounded by friends than alone behind walls that will never keep me safe.

The cliff thingy we climbed.

The cliff thingy we climbed.