Please practice random acts of kindness

This winter I soloed down to Panama, out the canal to the San Blas Islands. It’s quite the place, very hard to get to. Just the spot to start a rough draft of my will. The San Blas Islands number something like 375 small-to-minuscule, palm-studded, white-sand islands off the Darién gap. 

The whole territory is the province of the indigenous Guna people. They’ve been there 12,000 years. It’s a matriarchal society. The Guna have no Wi-Fi, no cellphones and shun alcohol. The women are shameless flirts. They nicknamed me Juan Ambulante and plied me with warm tea that had a curious mushroom aftertaste.

What would I miss when I returned to stardust? Well I’d certainly miss my number-one lady friend, Lydia, and my 130-year-old Victorian house I’ve nicknamed Queen Anne’s Revenge. I’d miss unspooling my 1997 Z3, top down on the coast highway to Big Sur. I’d miss sailing the Bay, close-hauled through the slot to make lunch at Sam’s in Tiberon. I’d miss the Alameda Sun on my porch every Thursday.

Monday, Feb. 17, is Random Acts of Kindness Day. So I want all of you to consider a random act of kindness for yourselves. Just $25 will buy you a subscription to the Sun. Just $50 gets you a gold star and a year’s worth of good karma. And, as a further incentive, I’ll tell you what the meaning of life is.

The meaning of life is to live it.


— Jan Sutter