kindness and community

Often times, I think we fail to recognize and appreciate the different communities that we play important roles in. I’m talking about “community” in the broadest sense possible: our families, workplaces, sports teams, favourite shop… anywhere that our presence is among others, and where we can make an impact. 

This past week, I have experienced incredible moments of kindness in a number of different communities.

I had friends recommend me for jobs. I had teammates congratulate me on successful sets, and high-five me even when I messed up. I had a friend take me out for a fabulous dinner. I had my boyfriend show me time and time again why he’s the man for me: from a 1am house call with cotton-string mops, to taking me out on a SpongeBob SquarePants date, “crabby patties” and all!

I had an eye-opening experience today, where I saw a community come together unexpectedly and I was able to play a part and pay kindness forward.

It may not necessarily be recognized or nurtured as a community, but I would argue that Tim Hortons is one, and not just for the staff. Although I am a Starbucks girl at heart, I do go with my mum to Tim Hortons almost every morning. It’s became part of our routine – the faster we could be ready for work in the morning, the more time we would have to chat over coffee. The regular morning staff know our order, and my mum and I even pooled some money together to get a Christmas gift for one of the staff members that we knew had a hard year.

Aside from the staff, we see many of the same faces in the morning: the guy that sits in the corner, reading the paper, and the lady that always tries to strike up conversation with him; the man with the red mustang; the delivery driver that has a sinus problem; the elderly couple who has their coffees brought to their table. Before today, I didn’t realize that they were part of my community.

On our way to the door, an elderly lady (the one from the elderly couple mentioned above), took a tumble on her way to the door. Within seconds, I had rushed over to help her. Quickly, a small crowd came together, including a police officer and the store manager, to get her back on her feet and make sure she was alright.

Sadly, because we are such a small community, the manager kept asking her where her husband was, wondering why he wasn’t near when she lost her footing. She didn’t realize that the woman was there with someone else, who I believe was her daughter. Finally, the daughter spoke up and said, “He’s not here. He’s in the hospital today.”

The manager mentioned to us as we were going inside that the woman is always there with her husband. Every single day, she’s there with her husband.

My heart was breaking for her.

After a few sips of coffee, I decided that I had to do something for her. I didn’t know exactly what was going on in her life, but I knew that today just wasn’t a good one. I bought her a Timmy’s giftcard, gave her a hug and said, “I just wanted to help brighten you day a little.”

Do something to brighten someone’s day. It doesn’t cost much, and goes further than you could ever imagine.

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