A few months ago, my family and I embarked on an adventure of sorts. Having grown tired of several months of pandemic living, in one of the most densely populated cities in the world, we decided we needed a break.

Fortunately for me, I’m married to a Canadian, which meant we were one of the lucky few who could actually escape and head north, to a place far less impacted by the coronavirus. As sad as I was to be departing the city I call home, I sold myself on the idea of a lengthy vacation. I was at peace knowing my kids would be learning remotely, which would allow me to keep them relatively removed from the risks of picking up this somewhat deadly virus, yet I worried for their mental health, heading to a place knowing just a few. I was less concerned for my son, being a competitive hockey player in a place with endless ice, I was certain he would make some connections. However, my daughter not having a passion for extracurricular activities had me a little worried. 

A few weeks in as I entered my car with my Bluetooth connecting to a work call, a woman appeared in my rear view mirror. I struggled with what to do. I couldn’t ignore her, even though I was about to exchange pleasantries with the person on the other end of the phone. So as the caller picked up, I politely and anxiously asked if I could put him on hold. I quickly put down my window and to my surprise it was our neighbor coming over to introduce herself. I explained my call situation and expressed my delight in her approaching me. I assured her I would stop by when I returned, which I did later that day.

Through our conversation, I was pleased to find out that she had 2 kids, one was a girl one year my daughter’s junior. I revealed enthusiasm at the suggestion of getting the girls together. My daughter was ecstatic by the news. A couple weeks passed and I wasn’t feeling certain things would pan out.

A few days later, we met unexpectedly in front of our homes, directly across from each other, my daughter by my side. She asked how we were doing and I shared my daughter’s birthday was the next day. We conversed a bit about our plans for the day and I told her about the zoom birthday bake off celebration we coordinated with a close friend from home. We parted ways shortly after.

The next day sometime in the afternoon we heard a knock at the door and in through the mail slot an envelope appeared with my daughter’s name front and center. We could not fathom who it could be from. Upon opening it, we discovered it was from our neighbor and inside was a card along with a gift card from a local store. I was speechless… completely and utterly flabbergasted, reminding myself, as I every so often do, there is kindness all around us.

Since then we have become fast friends and our girls meet up every few days to hang out. The first time they made plans, my daughter was quick to share the news via text and my heart instantly smiled. I felt a great sense of gratitude for this new friendship taking form.

Sometimes we forget we are living in a world filled with decent people, especially during a time when there is so much negativity surrounding us. And then a human reminds us and our faith in society prevails. These acts of kindness quietly inspire us to move forward in kindness ourselves. We too serve as an example to others through our own acts of kindness. So, if you as well, have recently questioned if there is goodness out there, let this serve as a reminder… there is. Go ahead make someone’s day and keep spreading the love.