by Petra Bartoli y Eckert
Making someone happy through small gestures – this often happens quite incidentally in everyday life. Together with the Make Someone Happy Company from the USA, we want to make these moments visible. Because we are convinced that they are what make the world a better place.
“Oh, that’s really nothing special!“ That’s the first thing my interlocutor says when I ask him about his willingness to help. The young man has been mentoring a couple for a few months who are having a bit of a hard time finding their way around a country that is (still) foreign to them.
Now you might think of someone who volunteers to help refugees or newly arrived people arrive here in Germany. But we are somewhere else: My interlocutor, who tells me about his commitment, is Vladislav Angelov and he lives in the city of Russe in Bulgaria.
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Vladi is in his early 30s, studied geology in Münster and Salzburg, and has been living back in Bulgaria for just under a year. „Many river cruise ships dock here in Russe. I’m often out and about on the banks of the Danube. There I often meet tourists who speak German. Some time ago, I met an elderly couple there who looked a bit disoriented. I went up to them and asked if I could help. They were surprised that I spoke to them in German. Maybe that was also because I greeted them with „Servus!“. Just like I was used to from Salzburg,“ Vladi says and laughs.
„I was surprised that the couple was not on vacation, but that they had emigrated to Bulgaria as pensioners,“ Vladi continues. „The two are from Hanover. We got into a conversation. And they told me that they couldn’t get along everywhere with their online translater. The woman and the man had already started learning Bulgarian and reading the Cyrillic alphabet. But they needed help with pronunciation – or even when things got complicated. They were very happy that I supported them. For example, when they didn’t understand something correctly. Or when registering their car here in Bulgaria.“
Meanwhile, the couple has already arrived more in Bulgaria. Recently, they moved to Varna, a port city on the Black Sea. Contact between them and Vladi has become less. „Not only did I help the couple, but I also got something out of the contact itself: I thought it was nice to see how interested the couple is in the culture here and in the country of Bulgaria,“ Vladi sums up. That certainly connects the three of them. After all, Vladislav has also lived in other countries for a long time.
And they have something else in common. „I know what it’s like to be in a country where you don’t understand the language. And first of all, maybe there is no one who can or wants to help you,“ Vladi says.
I think more people like Vladislav Angelov are needed. Not only in Bulgaria or in Germany. Everywhere. Then maybe we’ll notice again more what connects us, instead of just what separates us.
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And this is how it works: We are collecting Make Someone Happy-drops in the form of small incidents in which you have already been able to make others happy with a small gesture. Send us your story – written, spoken or filmed! And feel free to tell us what effect it had on you (which is not to be underestimated :-))!
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