I woke up as the car rolled to a stop at the parking lot of Mount Nebo…in my half awake state, I thought I had heard somebody say that the site closed at 5pm. It was 4:55. Three police officers sat on plastic chairs near the entryway, “Is it open?” I called out to them. “Yes,” the middle one answered lazily, swinging his crossed leg back and forth. “Do they close at 5?” I asked, the tinges of irritation creeping into my head. “Yes,” he responded in the same monotonic tone. I chuckled away my irritation…he had answered my first question honestly.
At the front gate, we were told that the entry fee was 1 Jordanian Dinar. We pulled out our wallets and paid. “Doesn’t it close at 5?” I asked. “Yella, 5:30.” (Alright fine, 5:30), the guard responded as if he had just acceded to a pleading toddler. Still in my sleepy haze, I handed over a 1 JD piece and the guard looked surprised, “Miss, this is no longer used.” “Oh, I’m sorry,” I said and handed him another. “Where did you find this?” I explained that I had found them in a box of currency at my parents’ house. “These are no longer in circulation! Can I look at it?” He stared, inspecting every letter, every crease, starry-eyed at the out-dated currency with that juvenile glow of excitement. After I paid – with effective currency – I told the guard he could keep the out-of-service piece. He tucked it delicately into his uniform pocket. I checked my wallet and found 1/2 and 1 JD notes that were no longer in circulation and took them out and handed them to him. “Here,” I said with a smile, “have these, too.” “Allah yerda3 3allayki” (may God be kind to you) and he went on…wishing God would have favor on me, thanking me for my kindness. He waved us through, despite our attempts for the last person in our party to pay, he insisted that it was unnecessary. I felt like his blessings and well-wishes, although welcomed on my part, were a bit much for me giving him the equivalent of $2.50 in worthless currency. But like they say, one woman’s trash is another man’s treasure.
On our way out, the same guard stopped us and handed each of us a Mount Nebo keychain as a token of his appreciation for our kindness. I walked to the car with a skip in my step thinking that despite what we may hear, kindness and appreciation are not lost in our world. As my dad says, “life is a mirror, if reflects back out at you who/what you are.” So if you want to see more kindness in the world, put some kindness out there.