Lyn Temlett was feeling worn down after a long meeting but then she met several South Africans who lifted her spirit and made her feel Proudly South African!
Nelspruit, South Africa – Everyday we are given a reason to smile about the incredible people living in South Africa. People regularly inspire that proudly South African feeling that grows in our hearts and works its way outwards, vibrating through our being.
Lyn Temlett had that very same feeling of pride on a recent trip into town. She lives in Nelspruit and was busy doing her shopping when she encountered not one but seven people that had her feeling proudly South African.
Lyn left work feeling exhausted, having sat through a long meeting. To perk her spirits, she stopped in at a local restaurant for some coffee and was greeted with a smile that instantly lifted her spirit. Her waiter commented that she looked tired and needed a break, so he directed her to a quiet booth saying, “Just relax and your coffee will be with you very soon” and when he returned later “Are you feeling refreshed? Is there anything else I can assist you with?”. Lyn left the restaurant to complete her errands for the day feeling a little lighter.
Just moments later she met a young woman wearing bright white takkies, Lyn couldn’t help herself and passed a compliment on to the woman for her spotless shoes. Lyn asked how the woman managed to keep them so clean and was offered more than just a cleaning tip but some very helpful life advice.
“Her smile, her eyes! “They cost me a lot so I walk softly and I stay calm because if my heart gets angry, I walk hard and they get dirty”. I smiled and touched her arm and she reached [out] and touched mine back.”
This brief encounter filled Lyn’s heart with an even greater buzz, she started to feel her long day disappear behind her with every person she met. Continuing on with her errands, she stopped in at the local pharmacy store to pick up some essentials and again was greeted with incredible kindness. While she was at the till a staff member came over and offered to help her saying, “Let me help you unpack your basket, you look tired. It must be very hot outside and that makes you tired”. Lyn smiled and said thank you.
Outside in the sweltering heat, she went to pack her bags in the car and was met by the car guard. She dug around for some change and found she didn’t have any to give him. She was flooded with guilt and insisted she would be ok to pack her bags as she didn’t have anything for him.
He responded, “No problem gogo. Next time! Let me help you with these packets” but her bakkie was giving her trouble so the car guard ran off to get help.
“He offered with such kindness, sweating profusely as it’s such a scorcher! He waves goodbye. I can only smile.”
Once done in the parking lot, Lyn drove on to her final errand of the day, groceries. She grabbed a trolley and wheeled it into the store. The trolley was a stubborn one and she fought it to stay on a straight path.
“I get a trolley that has a decrepit wheel steering the trolley stubbornly in the wrong direction but I feel a tap on my shoulder and a worker has another one and then starts unpacking my groceries into the new trolley. I thank him. He smiles happily and off he goes, while I watch – he picks up a child’s toy and hands it back to the little girl who is sitting in the child seat of the trolley and gives her a high 5.”
Lyn smiled as the kind man made his way out of the store. She completed her shopping and went on to pay at the till. The cashier complimented Lyn’s dress and they spoke of her daughter attending an upcoming wedding. The cashier explained how expensive dresses have become so Lyn gave her a few recommendations of places to go shopping.
“We share info on our favourite dress shops and when she is finished and I have paid, she greets me goodbye with “God bless you Ma’am and thank you for listening”
Lyn set out towards the car park armed with water and hot-cross buns to give the next car guard as she knew now that she had no change.
“All this kindness shown towards me has provoked me to be kinder than what I usually am. He (the car guard) packs my car, humming a song and he takes such gentle care that my pot plants don’t fall over, propping them up with my mangoes. I give him half the tray of hot cross buns and the water. He immediately, before thanking me, starts eating one and I don’t judge him for not thanking me, all I can think of with tears in my eyes is that he is so hungry!
And then he thanks me and I see tears in his eyes and my eyes respond with tears and I turn before he sees. I buckle up and look behind me to reverse out and I see him sharing the hot cross buns with his fellow car guard and I regret not giving them all to him.”
Lyn saved half the hot-cross buns for a very good reason. She needed to head home but had to make one last stop before she did. She drove back to the pharmacy parking lot, to go give the first car guard the hot-cross buns she had saved.
“I need to go home but before I do, I go back to give the car guard I had no money for, the other half of the hot cross buns. He looks delighted “They look nice.” He says with a big smile “what are they?”. I tell him, and I explain what the [cross] stands for. He is intrigued and unlike the other car guard, he puts them back in the packet and tells me that his daughter will be so excited when he tells her the story of the [cross] and they will eat them together.
Lyn left her meeting feeling weighed down and by the end of her trip, she was deeply moved and left feeling really proud of the people she met.
“Today I saw and felt the beautiful South Africa we call ‘home’.” – Lyn Temlett
We meet these people every day, they smile and greet us, assist us with our shopping. They are the reason we feel proudly South African. Lyn’s story shows that when we pay attention to the people who we interact with every day, we can be uplifted.