Friday September 18, 2020

The kindness of strangers

Leon McCarron is a Northern Irish writer and film-maker specialising in long-distance, human-powered journeys. He has cycled from New York to Hong Kong, walked 3,000 miles across China, trekked 1,000 miles through the Empty Quarter desert and travelled along Iran’s longest river by a variety of human-powered methods. His most recent trips have been following the Santa Cruz River in Patagonia on horseback and walking from Jerusalem to Mount Sinai. In this essay from The Kindness of Strangers, he contemplates the very simple act of human generosity

25th November, 2018
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Leon McCarron: ‘The kindness that is shown from strangers, to strangers, is something that is in our DNA’

As humans, we are designed to move at three miles an hour. I am not an evolutionary biologist, but I know this to be true. (I read it in a newspaper article about evolutionary biology.)

Now, in the age of immediacy in everything from news to transportation, to choose to move at this speed might seem unusual. It should not be. We’ve been doing this for 60,000 years: walking is our natural rhythm. To walk...

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