I took a trip with my son today to Sick Kids Hospital for his annual eye appointment. He has a bit of wonky left eye and his doctor thinks it’s a good idea to monitor it’s development as he grows up.
It’s a pretty ordinary and a pretty routine day.
I took a day off work. Woke up a bit later than usual. Drove into Oshawa. Found no parking spaces. Drive to Whitby. Parked. Took the GO Service train to downtown Toronto. I walked with my son several blocks, counted our steps and arrived at the best hospital in the Northern Hemisphere, but I might be a touch biased.
Despite the reason and circumstances for the trip, I never complain to have a chance to spend a full day with my son. There are not a lot of opportunities to do so during the year. Even during the supposed down time of summer which is mostly just running around from one camp to the next, one practice after another. Preparing for this BBQ or going to that pool party.
This was very nice.
A nice change of pace.
Just him and I. Just the two of us and the city we love.
A beautiful. Perfect. Wednesday.
And I was struck by something today. Something that didn’t really surprise me, as it will probably not surprise you either. It was more of an awareness really. An awareness that I don’t experience when I am busy running around doing this thing or getting involved with that.
I was closely watching the secretaries, nurses and doctors busy themselves at the hospital. I was struck and moved by their real, genuine, human kindness.
I know they were there collecting a paycheque. You and I do the same. But this was something different. I watched very carefully with what care each person interacted with my son. I saw the care in their eyes. I felt the love in their smile. I was amazed how much they cared and wished him well.
It’s not the money. It’s not the paycheque and I think we sometimes forget that.
There is a reason we become teachers, educational assitants, architects, lawyers, nurses and doctors. There is a reason we became mothers and fathers. Husbands and wives. Why we became such loyal friends.
I think in time we forget a little of who we are.
We forget or unconsciously lose sight of the human kindness that is beating deeply inside our hearts. We become deaf by the noise of the world and fail to hear the human kindness in hearts of all those we come in contact with.
That cook in your favourite restaurant cares deeply to make a great meal. It’s more than just money. Your daughter’s teacher really wants her to understand the meaning of that beautiful poem. Your car mechanic wants your car to run well, without any further worry and a good nurse sees a human being, sees a little child, and wants the best for them.
That was the name of the beautiful soul that took care of us this afternoon.
I will probably never meet her again, and she will probably never read any of this, but I want her name remembered here because it is important to recognize people. It is important to recognize their humanity. Important to recognize the dignity with which they do their work. It’s important to be aware and become conscious of that same human kindness in all of our hearts.
If you are having a miserable day today, I hope you take it easy on yourself and if you’re having the time of your life, I hope you smile and say thank you.
Be on guard and recognize the awesome manifestation of human kindness all around you.
I think doing so will make for a better day.
It will make for a better life.
This will can become a better world and a better tomorrow.
With a little human kindness.
Cover photo generously provided by photographer Matt Collamer via unsplash.com