Hollie Grimaldi Flores: Kindness makes the world go round | TheUnion.com

Hollie Grimaldi Flores: Kindness makes the world go round

Hollie Grimaldi Flores
Laura Mahaffy/lmahaffy@theunion.com | The Union

I am not a stranger to kindness from others. Over the years many people have gone out of their way to do wonderful things for me. I try to reciprocate when possible, pay it forward, and genuinely show gratitude to anyone who does something nice for me. When I stop to think about it, people are nice most of the time.

In the last few days alone I can think of a stranger helping me get something from the top shelf at the grocery store, a friend picking up the tab at brunch, a family member bringing me a cup of coffee in bed. I get that I am a pretty lucky gal and I am grateful.

Technical difficulties

In the past week, I had incredible customer service with our internet provider. My house has less than stellar internet speed. It’s certainly better than dial-up, but a long way from the fiber optic service we are hoping to experience before the end of the decade. I finally had enough of the struggle and made a call to the provider to see what, if anything, could be done to improve the download and upload speed of my laptop. I spent quite a bit of time on the phone and finally received verification that I did, indeed, have slower than even the acceptable level of slow DSL that I was paying for.

A service order was placed and six days later, I got a call from the technician letting me know they had done what they could but the issue appeared to be, at least in some part, on my side of the equation. I was afraid of what that would cost but I gave the go ahead. I had a meeting I was on my way to and told the technician I trusted he would do what he could.

Later that day, upon returning home, I found a very nice note explaining the issue (let’s just say when it comes to rodents and wires, wires lose). The kind technician replaced the wire and other equipment, with our internet speed doubling as a result. It could be said he was simply doing his job, but I believe he exceeded what many would have done without handing over a hefty invoice. I am grateful.

Franti: Mr. nice guy

I especially appreciate his work ethic and expertise as I search the web and listen to music at the same time. I happen to be listening to Michael Franti and Spearhead. Best known for the popular hits “The Sound of Sunshine” and “Say Hey”, they first played at the Center for The Arts in Grass Valley when they were just “up and coming.” Today, they (he) is a bit of a big deal in his genre.

My daughter has been an enthusiastic fan for many years and introduced me to his music long before he was being played on mainstream radio. Several years ago, I picked up my daughter from the airport in San Francisco after her first full year living abroad. Less than 24 hours later, she was at a Michael Franti concert in Berkeley and I was dust.

The following year, he was scheduled to perform in Grass Valley and my girl was once again on the other side of the planet. Before the concert began I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Franti and asked him to take a photo with me holding a photo of my daughter with a “wish you were here” note on it. He kindly acquiesced and I later sent it to her as part of her Christmas package.

Fast forward three years and he was booked to play at WorldFest at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. My daughter and I made plans to attend together.

I have spent a great deal of time at WorldFest as a volunteer and as a patron. I have a real sense of the amount of blood, sweat and tears it takes to put on that festival. The Center for the Arts staff is put to the test on every level. Four days of music — hundreds of musicians — on many stages, activities for kids, villages set up, vendors, camping, etc. I heard the number of volunteers who helped was around 900.

Imagine what level of energy that kind of organizing must take! So I know it was not the smallest request I made to executive director, Julie Baker, when I asked if my daughter and I might get a photo opportunity with Michael Franti with that original photo in hand. Sunday evening, she made it happen. Again, above and beyond the call, and I am grateful.

There is no doubt Michael Franti is an exceptional performer and a genuinely nice man who only has the best of intentions, creating positive messages of hope and love for all humanity. Later we danced in a friendly crowd of 5,000. His music and message is love and let love.

In recent months, the world seems to have fast forwarded into a very unsettling place. It was good to be reminded that amid chaos, there is kindness all around us if we just take a moment to take notice. I am grateful.

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