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The concert that made me aware of kindness

Can you think of a time when things worked in your favor by acting out of character? Perhaps, the night when you decided to go out and get drinks, and you found one of the most meaningful relationships in your life. Can it be that solitary Sunday night of winter when you found the beautiful imperfections of life?

It is said that things happen for a reason, but I believe that we have 5 seconds to trust the feeling in our guts and gamble our chances because statistically speaking; the house will never win all the bets. Things happen by the engineering of our making; therefore, serendipitous moments and encounters will continue bringing us beneficial discoveries.

In the summer of 2003, a call from Pontiac, MI made me buy tickets to a concert on July 4th to see Metallica, one of the best performing bands in the world. The journey covered more than 700 miles and 23 hours of travel without paying too much attention to the luxuries of riding an uncomfortable and cold Greyhound bus.

Arriving to Detroit felt very surreal. Everything I heard about the city was becoming alive to my senses. The capital of the auto industry did not disappoint and the first thing I noticed was the MGM Casino. As I explored the streets for hours, my eyes were fixed on the signs indicating the routes to Canada and Pontiac, two destinations that I had the fortune to visit.

On July 4th eve, Pontiac welcomed me to its Independence Day celebration with an evening of music, food and fireworks. This was the preamble to a day that marked my first Metallica concert. Although my wait by the stadium gate was highlighted by restless hours with temperatures in the 80s, rain and an uncharacteristic sand storm, I had the privilege to be in the first row.

I stood there for 9 hours enjoying bands such as Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Deftones, and Mudvayne. I was thirsty, tired, hungry, and everything hurt, but my energy was still at 100%, by the time Metallica played. I left the site with a new perspective and fireworks decorated the sky with blue, red and white tonalities.

During my trip back to Connecticut, the bus stopped in Columbus for few minutes without realizing that I was in a different time zone. I went to the bus station to brush my teeth, stretch my legs and relax for a while because I thought I had plenty of time before continuing with my trip. Well, to my fortune, the bus was gone taking all my belongings. I was left with my boarding tickets in one pocket and a clean smile in my face.

While everyone was trying to help me contact the bus driver, it was fruitless because my backpack found someone else to share the trip with. I was exhausted and very sad by the outcome, but the person sitting next to me consoled me by talking to me and sharing some of his food.

Despite the events at the end of my trip, I found serendipity when a stranger made me aware of kindness.

I believe in good people and when we are having a hard day in life, we only need someone to notice our heart, treat us with kind words, and give us a big hug to uplift our spirits.

Alvaro Rodriguez

I am from Colombia and I am very proud to be from that beautiful country. One of my great passions is life because I have walked this path by sharing it with amazing people. People that have taught me to see the world in a very different way. Extraordinary individuals have showed me what I have never could discover by myself. I am an eager reader of science, poetry, politics, and music (yes, the meaning and composition of song lyrics). I have a great appreciation for art, languages, and the expression of everyone's perspective seen from the lens of a camera. I love Astronomy and one day I will be in space. I am a Research Scientist in Corrosion Engineering and writing is a great way for me to tell the world how I feel.

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