While traveling in Paris several years ago, I missed my flight back to Montreal. Alone and completely helpless, I found myself crying in the public toilets of a shopping center. Seeing the scene, a lady who was there simply invited me to have coffee with her. I accepted. We talked about everything and nothing. It made me feel really good! One of the nicest gestures that a stranger has made towards me.

Today, a thirty-year-old came to offer me a bouquet of flowers, as I was arriving at my car with a few bags of groceries. He said to me, “These flowers are for you, ma’am. » What a pleasant surprise! He explained to me that he wanted to give someone flowers today and that he saw me. The meeting was brief, but once I sat in my car, I was moved to tears. As happy as if I’d caught the bride’s bouquet!

One morning, on my way to the office, my heart was heavy. When I passed in front of Notre-Dame church, I saw a girl about my age. She was crying, trying to be discreet. I asked her if she wanted a hug. She nodded without saying anything. I then gave him a hug. The truth is, I really needed that hug, too. I felt connected to this person by the fact that we were both sad in the same place. It made me feel so good to share this moment with her. It’s been over 10 years and I think about it regularly.

At the very beginning of the pandemic, I had an accident that left me alone at home, unable to walk, for weeks. A couple of friends brought me home-cooked meals and what I needed to shower safely. It touched me so much that I cried. In addition, a friend from the Îles-de-la-Madeleine found a caterer near me and had a number of meals delivered to me so that I could eat properly. My mother also did the same. Once recovered, I paid it forward by preparing meals for my mother. Generosity and kindness nourish us, no pun intended!

We live in Lotbinière, a rural area where there are many seasonal agricultural workers. One day, leaving a grocery store, we noticed a young worker coming out with a large quantity of bags. He was getting ready to carry everything on his bike. Despite our poor knowledge of Spanish, we offered to transport him home. He told us he accepted, but only for the bags. He would come back by bike. We kept telling him we could bring him back, but to no avail. We are indebted to these people who come to help us support our businesses and we must help them in their daily lives.

I have always seen kindness as something that goes without saying. I am convinced that my free daily smiles to complete strangers could one day bring balm to a person’s day. Sometimes I find that the world lacks sensitivity. We forget that we are around other humans who, like us, feel pain, joy, shame, sadness, pride or any other feeling.

The first time I showed kindness was on a municipal bus in Montreal. I was 11 years old. A lady was at the rear exit waiting to get off. She was holding back tears. His whole being cried out in silent distress. His hand was resting on a railing in front of my seat. I put my hand on his. She backed away. I looked into her eyes and pressed a little more on her hand. I whispered, “Courage! » She went downstairs and I never saw her again… In the evening, I wondered what was causing her distress. I didn’t find an answer, but I told myself that my action had perhaps helped to alleviate it.

Just yesterday, as I was leaving a big box store with a 4 x 8 sheet, I was thinking that it would be nice to have someone help me get this sheet into my RV. It was also windy. I am capable of doing it alone, but being very tired these days, I was hoping for it. When I got to my vehicle, a man asked me, with beautiful simplicity, if I needed help. I said yes, of course. In an age where “I-me” takes up a lot of space, this gesture of kindness did me a lot of good… and him too, I suppose.