Time, money, objects, advice — to name but a few. Generosity can be demonstrated in many forms.
You might usually find greater expression of it amongst friends and family. Between complete strangers? Perhaps less often, yet a little more likely where there are common interests.
What follows below continues to amaze me as I write and read through it, yet also reinforces to me there are some wonderful people out there, and I have been indeed lucky enough to recently become acquainted with one.
Readership of this blog has built slowly and steadily over the two years I’ve been writing here. I do receive feedback occasionally on what I write — not a lot — but enough. Some offer encouragement, others push me to think a little differently about what I have written, though it is always well-intentioned and respectful. I consider myself very lucky in this regard.
Earlier this year I received some kind words from a reader on a couple of my pen related posts. I of course responded with thanks as is usually the case. Thankfully, he also reached out via email, through the contact page of this blog.
What the email contained is something I’ll never forget.
A most generous offer
Earlier in the year I had concluded I would be satisfied with my current pen collection in the short-term — and convinced myself I wouldn’t be making any significant purchases (perhaps only a bottle of ink here or there) until the second half of the year.
Not long after, I received the email which contained an offer I must admit left me somewhat stunned upon my initial reading.
I know what you are thinking — the email contained an unbeatable deal and I broke my current and future planned budget restrictions all at once.
No. It was much more than that. Way more.
The writer of the email mentioned owning a number of pens, and considering himself a user rather than a collector — was looking to pass on some of the pens he no longer regularly used to someone who might use and appreciate them.
Somewhat more significantly for myself, he went on to say he enjoyed reading this blog and would like to do something to support that. Very kind words and encouragement which in themselves already more than made my day. Being offered these pens was… well — you can imagine how that felt.
I continued reading.
The list of pens here was nothing short of amazing — particularly to someone like myself looking to expand a fairly limited collection. An endeavour that was to date progressing — though fairly slowly. Remember we are talking about doubling my fountain pen collection overnight — with each of these pens worth more than any (bar one) I already owned.
Needless to say I was somewhat flabbergasted.
A few emails back and forth later — and I had provided an address for the pens to be sent.
Needless to say, an exciting few days wait ensued before an express post package arrived at my desk in the office. Being the somewhat private person I am, waiting until people were off in meetings and such for a quiet time to open it was one of the hardest things I have done in recent times.
Again. Totally amazed.
Although through the previous email exchanges I had known what was coming — actually having them in my hand was unbelievable.
At no cost to me, I had just received: a Pelikan M400 (green; EF nib); Pelikan M215 (black and rhodium; M nib); Pelikan M205 (red; F nib); Lamy 2000 (F nib); Tombow Object (red; F nib); Platinum Multi-pen; and a selection of ink cartridges.
I think anyone familiar with pens will see the value in those above, and anyone who isn’t — well let us just say we are looking at a significant amount of money if I were to buy them.
What can I say?
Having received the pens in the middle of March, I have only now been able to sit and write some thoughts on this act of kindness, with the extent of my good fortune having finally sunk in.
To me, it goes way beyond the monetary value which can be calculated from the list above. The kind gentleman who made contact can certainly be assured the pens have been warmly welcomed into my collection, and no amount of thanks could ever be sufficient, though I will indeed give it my best shot.
He has made no money, has no blog, Twitter or Instagram account to link back to — and even if there were – I get the impression a link would be politely declined. Also, my query as to whether he wished to be mentioned by name, and to read this post before it went up — politely declined. To me, it is a very real reminder of the kind and generous people in the world (and within the pen community) that we may never see nor hear from. Or at least if we do, not often.
These are the people I write for.
As this piece of writing nears conclusion, something else has struck me you know. I mentioned time and advice in opening of this post. Two very valuable things I have also received far more of from this kind gentlemen than I’d ever hope to receive, and to that end, I look forward to each and every email.
As far as this generous gift I have received?
I can only hope that someday — if I am in a similar position – I would do the same, but it mightn’t be with any of these particular pens. No, these I’ll likely be keeping as reminder of the immeasurable kindness and generosity that still exists in the world.