The Cost of Kindness

The one thing I’ve learned to appreciate so much more as I’ve grown older is kindness. Acts of kindness, big or small, are blessings during the best of times, but it’s especially when the going gets rough — when getting through the day is like slogging through solid air — that one kind word or deed can be all that’s needed to prop up a person’s spirit.

It was through the kindness of two people — one, an old high school friend; the other, a stranger — that I enjoyed the treat of a lifetime nearly 4 years ago.

Last 2010, when a friend learned I was going to Singapore, she offered to get me a discounted room at The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore, a luxury I would never have sprung for otherwise. When my companion and I arrived at the hotel, mid-afternoon, we were dusty and raggedy from a day at Sentosa and we were — gasp — just walking up the driveway. The girl at the door actually asked us if she could help us with directions. (Um…no, we’re not lost, we’re actually staying here. Such as we are. Yeah.) We found a fellow Filipino at the Reception desk, and when he checked us in, he generously upgraded our room.

To a suite.

A. Suite. At the Ritz-Carlton.

Oh, no big deal, really. Just a room that had this view from the living room:

STGMT_Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore_01_Living Room View

And this view from the bedroom:

STGMT_Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore_02_Bedroom View

And this view from the conference room:

STGMT_Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore_03_Study View

Well, not a conference room exactly, just a separate room with a table and chairs:

STGMT_Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore_04_Study

Which was, of course, in addition to the writing desk in the living room, that also had a sofa, several chairs, a couple more tables, and a separate bathroom for the guest’s guests. Plus, a walk-in closet:

STGMT_Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore_05_Walk In Closet

And a bathtub that had this view:

STGMT_Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore_06_Bathtub View_1

In fact, while you’re having a bath, you can actually just lean forward a bit and watch the game:

STGMT_Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore_07_Bathtub View_2

And then, all refreshed, you can sink thereafter into the delights of this heavenly featherbed:

STGMT_Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore_08


Not bad for a dusty, raggedy traveler who walked up the driveway, huh?

The thing is: I got to spend a night at an unbelievable room that I would never, in a million years, have been able to afford, because two people decided to be kind.

I don’t want to put a monetary value on the experience but I will, to illustrate a point. This room rents out for nearly PHP50,000 a night. And yet, I got to stay there because of two acts of kindness that, when you think about it, didn’t really cost a lot. In fact, they didn’t cost anything at all, just a bit of time and effort and thoughtfulness on the part of two people wanting to give me a treat.

That’s how kindness is. Sometimes it costs so little and means so much. I’m not a kind person by nature — at least I think I’m not as kind as I probably can and should be — but when I think of how much people have done for me, I try to remind myself to pay such kindness forward.

How have people been kind to you? Share your story in the comments below.


The Cost of Kindness” was created by LSS for travel site Small-Town Girls, Midnight Trains. All rights reserved.

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