Language of Kindness

Our landscaper, Marcos, is a swell guy. In order to provide for his wife and twin girls, he commutes 4 to 5 hours a day from a more affordable area in the Bay Area of Northern Ca. to a more affluent community that can afford to pay him living wages. He gets up around 4 each morning, gets home around 7:30 or 8 at night, rain or shine, and never do I see this man in a foul mood.

Most of the time, I’m not home to see/hear him and his whiny leaf blower, but on those occasions that I am, I’ll venture outside of my rabbit hole and swap stories with him. Inevitably, he greets me with the largest of smiles and is always upbeat. Last week I hopped out to see him and he told me of a special award’s assembly he attended at his girl’s school and was so excited and so very proud – their teacher informed him that his girls are doing so well that they’re skipping first grade and going straight into second – what a proud moment for him; what a gift, unexpected.

This immigrant from Mexico, with little money for school, came to America to find freedom and a better life for himself; has twin-girls that are smart, has twin-girls that are talented. This landscaper by week and chef on weekend, has twin-girls that could eventually cure the most incurable of diseases or make a social contribution to the world to make our lives better someday, because their Popi was brave and their Popi was steadfast; in his journey of self, in his journey to freedom.

Never have I heard him complain. Never have I heard him say a bad word about anyone. He’s worked injured and sick and hungry and tired; and all through the pain and all through the fatigue, he’s had one solitary goal – one solitary prayer: let me be a good Popi to my girls, let me keep them safe and provide, and I’ll continue to work hard and I’ll continue to make do.

In between times, he takes English class at night school and makes sure he reads to his girls; they go sledding to Tahoe and cook meals together, too. I don’t know when the man sleeps and sometimes wonder how he makes do, but of this I am certain, of this I am sure: He is a man of integrity and a man I respect, and I’m proud to have met him and thankful that a wall didn’t keep him out of my life.

I don’t speak Spanish and he speaks little English, but his face and his hands speak a language we both understand – a language not taught in our schools – a dialect of kindness and a tolerance of mankind.

Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, the undocumented immigrant and repeated felon who accidentally shot 31-year-old Kate Steinle while she was walking with her father on a SF pier in July of 2015 has only two things in common with my Marcos – his Mexican birthplace and an accent.

I don’t know if Marcos crossed the border legally or illegally.  I do know that he is a loving father and husband and a kind person to most all.  And I know that building walls will not protect us or our children from unkindness or hurt. It will not promote understanding or forgiveness or further our cause.

The walls that we build – the walls of brick and mistrust – are walls that will fall, because they’re walls made of fear and fear will not stand.

Compassion or understanding or acceptance will not solidify. What we fear most will come true, and what is true is simply this: Ignorance is not blissful; it is hurtful and wrong, and ignorant people can only foster more hurt.

If we build walls, let them be walls to hold back water from rivers and seas, and let’s instead build a gateway – a gateway of acceptance and opportunity.

Let the gateway have laws and rigorously enforce them, but let’s make certain we build trust and promote kindness and well-being for all who enter and give; let’s make certain we’re fair and allow others in to share.

As we go forward into this future of uncertainties, may we take heart in knowing that we go forth as a nation built on liberty, equality, opportunity and diversity; and pray that our newly elected representatives take serious the positions they hold and honor their commitments to represent all……

In the meantime, be kind to each other and be kind to yourself, and I’ll catch ya next time, looking at life from my shoes.



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I'm a retired special ed teacher, born in upstate NY, who spent most of my adult life in the SF/Bay Area and moved to the Olympic Peninsula of WA in June of 2017. At the encouragement of family and friends, who followed my silliness on my FB page, I started this blog a few years ago. I try to keep my topics as humorous as possible (because I believe "LIFE" is pretty serious these days), but will, on occasion write about more solemn subjects. I sincerely appreciate all who take the time and effort to read and make comments and am truly humbled when people actually "like" what I write. I do not participate in the "Wordpress awards" because I feel "awarded" when individuals actually read me and comment, but sincerely appreciate all of you who have considered me "award worthy" and thank you from the bottom of my heart. Hugs, Lucie

25 thoughts on “Language of Kindness”

  1. Hi Lucie,
    I love this story, especially the beautiful words ‘ I don’t speak Spanish and he speaks little English’ but his face and his hands speak a language we both understand…a language not taught in our schools….a dialect of kindness and a tolerance of mankind’.
    So many things good and real to take from this story Lucie…
    A true feel good story that we can all relate to, I think you are one very budiful gay woman and your musings send us all a message to be kind to one another no matter our differences, if we were all the same, it would be a boring old world.
    Marcos is a legend, he is in your readers eyes Lucie, because of you we all love budiful Marcos.
    We all loves ya too mate
    Biggest hugs headed your way from
    Annie in Australia 🌞 🌴 🌊 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And you, little buddy, are the embodiment of love and joy and light. And i am sending you (((hugs)))and prayers for a successful surgery, Anne girl. Luvs ya, woman. Luvs ya with my whole heart, mate.💕💖😍


  2. This is marvelous, Lucie: heartfelt, passionate, honest, and needed. We all need your message about the worthy people who live and work among us and are routinely insulted, threatened, ignored. Thank you for writing it. It deserves a huge audience.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a great post and so well written. I have had many many
    Experiences with Hispanics from Latin America who came here
    To find a better life for their children. They are incredibly
    Hard working, honest and family oriented. They share these
    Characteristics with the generations of immigrants who built
    This country literally from the ground up. Walls protected
    People in castles long ago. Walls can not protect us now in the
    Age of cyber war. The Dali Lama says ” kindness is my
    Religion “. It is the foundation for a better world for our
    Children and grandchildren. Best of all , kindness needs
    No billions to build and anyone can practice it at any time,
    In any place.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He’s a cutie and I love the way he talks about his girls…he showed-up today with a rotten head cold and he was just concerned that I stay away from him so that I didn’t catch his germs….I luv, luv, luv him ❤ Thx for stopping by! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Our local son-in-law has his own business and prefers to hire legal Mexican aliens whenever possible. They work hard, don’t poke around on the job, and are incredibly honest.

    Several months ago we had new carpet laid in one of our room, and the young man who did the work was also from Mexico. He worked alone – would not let The Squire do anything except help him move a piece of furniture. He said that at home the drug lords come and tell you that you are going to work for them, or join the police force, so they will have an “in” if they get arrested. If you say, “thanks, but no thanks, they shoot you”. After he lost two friends, he came to America.

    I would imagine that with that behind you, anything that leads you forward is adream come true.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes….I think that “anything that leads you forward is indeed a dream come true”….people need to read/hear stories like yours more often…thanks for sharing. 😉


    1. I certainly hope so, Vita…I certainly hope so…I feel like we’ve stepped back in time into the Dark Ages and as a gay woman am worried that we’ve fallen into a rabbit’s hole of sorts that may take a long time to crawl out of…..I am broken-hearted for all of us who are “different”……


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