The Kindness of Strangers

This month, Lonely Planet released a new anthology for its “Journeys” series, entitled The Kindness of Strangers. Edited by vet (and LP global travel editor) Don George, this book explores the unexpected human connections that so often transform our travel experiences. And, in what was certainly a coup for Don G. and Lonely Planet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama agreed to write the preface.

The Dalai Lama writes, “If we really think about it, our very survival, even today, depends upon the acts of kindness of so many people. Right from the moment of our birth, we are under the care and kindness of our parents ; later in life, when facing the sufferings of disease and old age, we are again dependent on the kindness of others. If at the beginning and end of our lives we depend upon others’ kindness, then why in the middle should we not act kindly toward others?”

Notable authors in the anthology include Jan Morris, Pico Iyer, Tanya Shaffer, Dave Eggers, Tim Cahill, Stanley Stewart, Jeff Greenwald, and Simon Winchester. My humor-tinged Lebanon story, “My Beirut Hostage Crisis”, is also included in the anthology. (And, in what would have been an ironic balance to the seriousness of the Dalai Lama’s preface, my story very nearly made a first-serial appearance in the December issue of Playboy.) Many first-time authors are included in the anthology as well.

An early rave review for the book comes from my father George Potts, who intercepted my contributor’s copy in Kansas, and (with his characteristically subdued style) wrote: “I’ve been reading the Kindness of Strangers anthology. It’s a fast read and a good book. It gives insights into people from many perspectives and cultures.”

A handful of stories from this anthology can be found at a special page on the Lonely Planet website.

Posted by | Comments Off on The Kindness of Strangers  | October 31, 2003
Category: Travel Writing

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