Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Rum and Coke - 4-24-2012

Casa Brian in Playa Samara, Costa Rica

I've often had trouble sharing. Some of that came from a certain miserliness and some came from my belief that giving things to people to curry favor was tantamount to bribing people to be my friend. When I came through Casa Brian three years ago, I remember I had difficulty sharing some of the food or beer or whatever that I kept around the hostel. There's no expectation that someone has to share their stuff here, so no one gave me any grief.

On my second day here during my current trip, two Canadian couples who were traveling together checked in. Earlier that day, I had stopped by a local market to pick up some groceries, rum and coke among them. The Canadians seemed friendly, I was looking for folks to hang out with and befriend, and so I started offering the four Canadians rum and cokes from my own stash. They were quite appreciative of it and I soon became friends with the five of them. Sunday, the five of us got surfing lessons together (I'm achy and stiff and fell too many times to count, and it was still fun) and the two guys cooked an amazing dinner for the entire hostel that night, complete with five red snappers, a kilo of prawns, avacado & tomato salad and a couple skillets of seasoned potatoes. They didn't ask any payment for their dazzling cooking and I happily shared my rum and coke with anyone who wanted it.
Casa Brian in Playa Samara, Costa Rica
Offering my stash at first meeting and again during dinner felt good, and the difference this time was that I looked at offering my rum and coke as adding value (or unconditional love) to the lives of folks I just met, not as bribing people to be my friend for a while. It was a small but important mental shift. A friend back home talks a lot about how important it is to add value to others' lives and I couldn't help but think of him the first time I poured the Canadians some rum and coke.
Since that first shared drink, the five of us have gone surfing again, and one of the women even gave me surf lessons (which was doubly ironic since I grew up a stone's throw from Huntington Beach and she was born hundreds of miles from the ocean in southeastern British Colombia) that really helped me out. The two guys are even cooking for everyone again tonight!
So there you go...this story was a good lesson to me that adding value to others' lives, even if it's just a friendly face and a cold drink far from home, comes right back and adds value to my own life. Spread love and others will do the same. Who knew?

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