The Kindness of Strangers

The great cry is always that “time is money” and yet it so important to focus on giving out as well as receiving. We never know when an act of kindness will have a long term effect. In fact, many years ago broadcaster Kate Adie wrote her autobiography which was called “The Kindness of Strangers”. About thirty years ago I attended evening reflexology classes at Neal’s Yard in Bristol as a taster and had subsequently decided I wanted to train professionally but was still investigating where to study. Then a chance meeting changed the course of my enquiries. I was staying away at a hotel spa and, for a treat, booked a massage. The masseur was also a reflexologist and after my hour session she freely gave up half an hour of her time to tell of me training opportunities and gave me a reflexology chart and contact addresses. She recommended Anthony Porter who was in his last year of teaching an excellent Diploma Course for the International Institute of Reflexology (IIR) before founding his teaching organisation, Advanced Reflexology Training (ART). It was the best move I could have made.

Over the years I have encouraged students to always be ready to share their knowledge and time, and have mentioned to classes what an important meeting that was on my career path. Then, over 15 years following that chance meeting, I was a speaker at an Association of Reflexologists conference at Warwick University conference. I was shown to my gala meal table and met a group of reflexologists who were strangers to me. The woman seated beside me said she was pleased to meet me as she was fascinated to learn more about VRT and this was one of the main reasons she had attended the conference. I thought she looked vaguely familiar and, when I heard her unusual first name, I asked her is she had worked as a masseuse/reflexologist in a certain spa hotel in the Midlands 20 years ago! She said she had, and was amazed to learn that she had treated me and that I had acted on her good advice regarding my choice of reflexology diploma. She, of course, had no recollection of me at all as I imagine she often generously gave of her time. I was delighted to be able to thank her in person for setting me on a career path that led to the development of Vertical . What an extraordinary co-incidence!

June 2015