Shawn Shewchuk culture As some of you know I am Canadian, and as I’m sure you’ve heard, Canadians are typically considered extremely polite. I’m told that there are a great many people from around the globe that believe this to be the case. Conversely, over the years I’ve heard stories of experiences that were anything but positive from folks that had traveled to visit our dear friends south of the 49th parallel, in the United States of America.

I must tell you that I have never, not even once, had anything but positives experiences when I am fortunate enough to travel to the US. As a matter of fact, I have had a tremendous amount of really great and memorable experiences while in the US. I’ve many great friends in the US, and friends or not, my experiences have all been positively outstanding, as far back as I can remember.

Having said all of that, the following stories of generosity honestly blew me away. On a recent trip to Houston Texas for a couple of days, to visit a couple of friends, I experienced some of the most amazing and humbling examples of how I believe we should treat all of those with whom we come into contact.

I flew into Houston arriving on a late afternoon flight, and proceeded directly to my hotel. The following morning, I asked the front desk staff of the hotel to call a taxi-cab for me, and they of course obliged. Actually, they called three different companies. After about 25 minutes, no cabs had shown up at the hotel. I understood that the hotel staff were doing all that they could, and continued to make calls and do what they could to assist me. About this time, another clerk arrived behind the desk and promptly took control of the situation and utilized an App on her smart phone to summon a car. They let me know when the car arrived, I thanked them and left the hotel for my destination. Having never used this particular App, I was unfamiliar with how it worked. Upon arrival at my destination, I asked the driver what I owed, to which he indicated that he didn’t collect any money. I learned that the funds for the trip were collected through the App when the car was summoned, there is a credit card associated with the App. I was stunned, this woman, who I later learned was the Assistant Manager of the hotel had paid for my fare with her own credit card. I immediately called the hotel to thank her, she casually responded, “Oh don’t worry about it. It was nothing and the cabs weren’t showing up.” I, of course, ensured that her kindness was more than properly rewarded when I returned to the hotel. I will say this, I am truly blessed no matter where I go. I always meet amazing and wonderful people that go way beyond what they have to do, they do what they believe is the RIGHT thing to do. Outstanding!

While at the same hotel, on my birthday no the less, I queried a gentleman behind the front desk as to a good place to get some decent food, as I had no desire for typical fast food. He was very kind, and gave me a couple of names of restaurants nearby. I asked how far away these restaurants were, and he indicated that they were just across a shopping mall parking lot. I thanked him, and proceeded to the door. He stopped me by stating, “Sir, did you drive or fly here?” I responded that I had flown in. He continued, “Well, let me give you the keys to my car. That way you won’t have to walk across the parking lot at night.” WOW! I was blown away again. I was a complete stranger, yet he offered me his car. What a truly selfless act of kindness and selflessness.

What if we all gave a little extra? What if we all did the RIGHT thing? What would our world look like if we put service to other above ourselves.