Last Updated on June 21, 2019 by Julia Colasanti
Long before I was ever dreaded – months before I watched Julia realize they served free, legal wine on British Airways, and years before the cold, dry air of Prague was numbed by the beauty of the city – I listened to plenty of people preach to Julia about all things dangerous.
“There’s a lot of scary people out there that will rip you off,” was a common warning along with copious amounts of “Taken” references. I’m not going to lie, it was a little intimidating. After all, I’m only one dreadlock in a sea of hair follicles. It’s tough out here for a tiny man like me.
Through all the warnings, Julia excitedly stepped off the plane in London. We made it, but I was just relieved that we were alive. Minding all the scare tactics, Julia held her purse so close it almost molded to her body. As she walked the streets of London, I did what any faithful dreadlock would do and held watch for the predators that seemed inevitable.
As I looked around, I saw something very different. I saw people in love, people in awe, and people showing genuine acts of kindness. Sure, there were a couple of creeps begging for money to buy a beer at the pub, but at least they were honest!
The highlight of the quick two days in London was when Julia spotted a man sitting on the cold street surrounded by a mountain of rings. He didn’t look up. He was busy turning wire and beads into beautiful handmade rings that he added to the pile. He faced the concrete with his beanie hung low and a modest sign lay at his feet. “FREE RINGS. Why free? Because it will make everyone happy!” Julia watched in awe at the kind man and the crowd that grabbed at rings like savages. He sat in the middle of the chaos making a big difference in such a small way.
If everyone worked to make people a little bit happier, in my opinion, the world would be a much better place; but I am just a simple dreadlock, what do I know about humanity and world peace? The only thing I can say for sure is that there are good people everywhere. Listening to years of warnings about going abroad made Julia and I suspicious of everything that moved. It is good to know that there are people everywhere that will do the right thing and try to make the world a little bit brighter.
So, whether we were watching a couple fall in love on the tube, watching a little boy fearlessly face a dinosaur at the Natural History Museum, or watching a man give away his livelihood to make someone’s day, the people of London are good and not everyone is trying to pillage you. All over the world there are people who genuinely mean well… so go find them.
Until next time,
This post was contributed by Julia Colasanti, who writes under the pseudonym of Carlos, her dreadlock. Julia is spending her semester studying abroad with AIFS in Prague, Czech Republic.