Cayman Kind – a fitting slogan.

| 04/07/2013

Yesterday morning my car broke down. Sadly for me and all those affected by the slow traffic I caused for a short while, it didn’t break down at home or at the office or at any other more convenient spot; it broke down about four cars back in the middle lane by the cricket pitch traffic lights heading into town (or trying to!).

It was subsequently discovered that one of the battery connections had come loose and all is now well, but at the time all I knew was I had a dead car in the middle of the road, one that was stuck in park with hazard lights that wouldn’t work (because there was no battery) and so I was unable to enlist any help in pushing it off to the side or warn any oncoming traffic that the car was temporarily broken down. So I stood there like a lemon, unsure of what to do.

Which brings me to ‘Cayman Kind’…

Damian, who sells The Compass at those lights, didn’t hesitate and came right over to see if he could assist. A number of other gentlemen stopped or pulled over to see if they could help also, and I’m only sorry I didn’t get the names of all those who did stop or pull up next to me but I was so very grateful.

There were three guys in particular, though, that stopped whose names I know. One, a good friend of mine, who kept me company until help arrived (it’s not much fun standing in the middle of the road waiving traffic around you first thing in the morning – I’m just so very grateful school is out and so I didn’t have irate parents to deal with!). The other two gentleman I hope to seek out so that I might have the opportunity to thank them personally.

These three, along with Damian and the others who stopped to offer help, really were the epitome of ‘Cayman Kind’ – a Cayman I know well but glimpse less frequently these days, perhaps because we’re all so busy getting on with the business of living – times are tougher, life is moving at a faster pace and sometimes we’re so busy being busy we forget that each moment cannot be re-lived. We get one shot and we are always presented with opportunities to improve the quality of someone else’s life or situation, and yesterday morning all those who stopped to offer help really were the silver lining in my otherwise dark start to the day.

I appreciate that if all I have to worry about is a broken down car, my life is pretty good, but it is all relative and at that moment in time a broken down car, in the middle lane of the road without working blinkers was all consuming!  The people that took time out of their no doubt busy days did more than they’ll ever realize to improve the quality of my day.

So all this to say thank you – yesterday was a wonderful reminder of who we are (even if not always apparent) and who we should all strive to be. Thanks to all for that reminder!

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for that beautifully storys it was heart warming to read and to know there is still lots of good things to say about Cayman Our Home  God Bless 

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for sharing your story.

  3. Dennis Smith says:

    What a great story.

    My wife and I parked at Foster's in Savannah one Saturday night and discovered that our battery was completely dead. Tried to restart the car and the electronic anti-theft system shut everything down. Couldn’t even lock the doors. Lifted the hood and every person in the parking lot came over. Caymanians and Jamaicans, even an auto mechanic with a car full of tools and an engine block in the trunk. Looked like it wouldn't take a charge, we tried everything. Everyone helped with cables, tools and advice. A neighbor spotted us and waited around holding her crying granddaughter just in case we needed a ride, we finally asked her not to wait and take the baby home.  After 45 minutes we gave up and managed to lock the car, abandoning it in the lot.

    A complete stranger gave us a lift home, 3 miles in the opposite direction from where she was heading. Got on the Internet at home and there was a FB message from someone else I had never met before but who had helped us, checking to see if we were OK and our neighbor drove by to see if we were OK. Obviously I now have a new FB friend.

    My wife went back the next morning (Sunday) to check on the car and someone passing by asked her what was wrong with it, she explained and he jumped out of his truck and got to work. Half an hour later they turned up at our house with the car running and some further mechanical advice.

    I have lived here since 1967 and everybody, Caymanian, expatriate and tourist alike, has always been willing to help. In truth I encounter small touches of kindness daily but that Saturday night, when we needed it most, we encountered an embarrassment of riches that was almost overwhelming. Thank you all.

    I have a little Cayman Kind project, I wave and smile at every white plated rental car that I pass (they always wave back) and greet every tourist that I meet in Georgetown with a thank you for visiting our island. They seem to like it, maybe they will come back; I sure hope so.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh dear I didn't mean to respond with a thumbs down!  Fingers too big and pressed the wrong key.  Two thumbs UP!!!!!!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    In response to Rorschack, I was not looking down at his job I was simply saying thatsomeone of his calibre and potential should be offered a job that is more financially compensating.  Not sure how much he makes but I am sure it cannot pay a mortgage.  I was not being judgemental maybe you were?

  5. Anonymous says:

    “Each of us can look back upon someone who made a great difference in our lives, someone whose wisdom or simple acts of caring made an impression upon us. In all likelihood it was someone who sought no recognition for their deed other than the joy of knowing that, by their hand, another's life had been made better.” Stephen M. Wolf (born 1941); American businessman.

  6. damian aka fadda compass says:

    Am sorry I forgot to mention the name of the other man that stopped as well to help his name is denny hydes and he work @ hydes and sons

  7. damian aka fadda compass says:

    Good day to you all and I would relly like to say god bless you all. And its true I have had numerous job offers and has turned them down due to my dedication and loyalty in which I display to my customers. For me its has been a joy and a pleasure meeting and greeting evryone every single day and I will continue to strive in making ways to better showing the true caymanian spirit in which my people are known for. Thank you all for being there throughout the good the bad the rain and the sunshine.

    • Anonymous says:

      What bloody moron gave Damian a thumbs down.  Some people!

      • Anonymous says:

        I suspect the implication that there is something special about “Caymanians spirit” had something to do with it.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yeah, unfortunately jealousy and denial always rear their ugly heads no matter how positive the message. 

          • Anonymous says:

            No, rather seeing people as people is a better way to live.  You are in denial if you think that there is something special and unique about Caymanian spirit over human spirit.  Not sure where the alleged jealousy is kicking in.

            • Anonymous says:

              This story is by far one of the most positive stories I have seen in print anywhere for a long time.

              Then as I am reading through this thread I see words like "implication" and "alleged" as if those commentors believe they are so much smarter and superior thinking by attempting to engage in some kind of simple minded legal discourse. 

              No matter how the locals try to express their pride or accept a complement from a grateful human being, some nob styles have to put in their two cents and kill the joy through sugar coated clever negativity. 

              • Anonymous says:

                So we are meant to write like a 5th grader then?

                • Anonymous says:

                  Anyone who has progressed past the 5th grade would understand all of the points the positive commenters are making.  If truly put into perspective most human beings do not have to be "Smarter than a 5th Grader" to understand what a negative ninny is, and you do a fine job at that. 

      • Anonymous says:

        The ones that are getting tired of "god blessings".

  8. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for this post. We should always be aware that a smile, wave, or greeting may just make the difference in someone’s day, or maybe their life. Those thing s cost nothing and some of us still are not willing to give. I was born and raised in a Cayman where it was commonplace to greet each other, stop and offer help, give someone a ride etc. it is very sad, to the older Caymanians/residents in particular, to see that we have lost this. I still greet everyone, whether I know them or not, and if they don’t return the greeting, well then, I tell myself they may be having a bad day – in any case , it is their loss. LET US BE KIND TO ONE ANOTHER! Just thinkhow much better life would be.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I came here from the UK several years ago and even after living here for 7 years, I am still amazed at the courtesy shown here that you simply do not get in many other places – however I live on Cayman Brac, where the 'community raising a child' idea still exists and goes a long way towards forming respectful adults. My husband, raised on Cayman Brac, is now 35, but whenever we visit Grand Cayman I have lost count of the number of times Caymanians will say to him 'But you must be from Cayman Brac?'. It's not his accent, his dialect, his style of dress or anything else that distinguishes him, it is his manners!

  10. Len Layman says:

    Regretfully common courtesy and "ordinary human kindness" are not as common or ordinary as they used to be. If we spent more time recognizing those who show those traits for their kindness maybe we could get back to a point where once again they are common and ordinary.

    To me Cayman Kind is doing just that. It is being a person or people who go out of their way to show ordinary human kindness and common courtesy as a matter of fact.  And that is a trait that is neither common nor ordinary.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Damian is a very sweet and kind man and alot of people would consider it beneath them to stand on a street corner and sell newspapers but he always has a smile on his face and "have a nice day" ready to all of his buyers.  Someone should see his potential and offer him a good job. He is From CAYMAN and is very KIND!!!     

    • Rorschach says:

      un, Damian HAS a GOOD job..he sells newspapers..and he is very GOOD at it…I am convinced that if he wanted anotherjob he could find one in a heartbeat, so why on earth would you think that someone would need to offer him a "good" one…You see..THAT is what is wrong with Cayman.. Damian has a job that he is good at and other people look down their nose and say he needs a "Good" job..cha…

  12. Anonymous says:

    I think you are mixing up oridnary human kindness with some special concept of "Cayman Kind", a super-special level of kindness that visitors can expect coming to the islands.  The second category does not exist.

    • Anonymous says:

      While I'm sure this is ordinary human kindness, I believe the point is it is something you see in Cayman that would very rarely see in countries such as the US or the UK.  In fact in the US if my car broke down, I would be afraid to get out the car for fear of being mugged. 

      • Anonymous says:

        We are kind in the US, too. You won't always get mugged if your car breaks down in the good ol' USA. There are good and bad in all of us.

        Nice story, though and Damien….keep smiling as it sounds like you are making the people of Cayman smile back.

      • Anonymous says:

        I recommend you stay in better neighborhoods.

      • Anonymous says:

        Complete crap.   Cayman is no better or worse than anywhere else.  People and people.  To think otherwise is actually quite offensive.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Nice to see a positive commentary for once, :), the newspaper guy at the traffic light always waves too, even though I've never met him or even bought a paper from him.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, that paper seller is amazing.  He waves at me too – it makes my day.  He is the epitome of Cayman Kind.  Need more like him. 

      • anonymous says:

        Yes I agree – I am actually going to stop there tomorrow morning and buy a paper because of his attitude.  Also I want to meet the man that keeps waving at me and everyone else 🙂 What a blessing!

        • Anonymous12 says:

          Do good and good will follow you. It really is touching to see it in action.

          • Anonymous says:

            I do bad things all the time and great things happen to me.  So you keep your schmaltzy Disney fair stories.

            • Anonymous says:

              Yes, good things do happen to bad people !!  May be that should encourage you to be good and do good instead of gloating!!

              • Anonymous says:

                I don't understand your logic.  If doing bad is working why would anyone want to change?

            • Anonymous says:

              Unfortunately for me, it's seems to be the opposite! So much forkarma!