Song: Terry – Action Bronson
Time: 3.59 PM
Location: Bridgetown, Barbados
The flight has been delayed about two and a half hours. The tarmac looks shimmery from the hot Jamaican sun and I’ve been nursing a Coca-cola for about an hour. It’s beautiful out. At least more beautiful than anything London has offered in months. In the past week, we spent time mainly on the island of Bequia. And while our skin tingled with excitement at the thought of having a bit of color and feeling again, nothing could have prepared us for the wake-up call we were all about to experience.
This past week had us thinking much about the way we treat others. The most shocking realization hit us within hours of landing. Having only 30 minutes to catch a small, jiggly flight over to the island, we bolted off the larger flight and practically leaped onto our connection. Exhausted but relieved to be so close to bed, I drifted off in the plane, leaning my head against the cold window. When I woke up we were flying above the beautiful island of Bequia. Soon we landed and were ushered into an open back cab. As we drove along people walking along the roads hooted and waved. I wondered if they were making fun of us. I quickly locked eyes with a boy about my age and swiveled my head behind us as we drove away. He smiled, thumbs up in the air and yelled, “Welcome to my home!”. I suddenly felt the icy scar that city life had built in me beginning to melt.
Upon arrival, we were greeted with drinks and music. I have never come across nicer people. For the time we were there we agreed that the people of Bequia were some of the nicest people we had ever met. There was an unmarred quality to their joy – a relaxed happiness that was so obviously simple. We often felt self-conscious of our bitterness and cynicism. But it got us thinking – why are we like this? It’s easier said than done to be kind to everyone around you because the brick walls you build around yourself in a city are forced upon you rather than willingly made. At 7 am on a mountain top I found myself eating peanuts and laughing at a joke one of my new friends was telling me. A moment of silence. One question had been racking my brain all week. Something I was surprised had surprised me so much. I hesitated to ask because I felt like there was no answer. “Why is everyone so nice here?” They laughed big booming laughs. Finally, one smiled and said, “Because it’s no skin off our back not to be.” I returned the smile at the thought. Because it’s true, isn’t it? Because it’s no skin off your back not to be. What a simple answer to a simple question.