Late yesterday my husband and I found a pair of AirPods, while on a walking trail. This morning I returned to the spot we had found them, armed with some handmade posters and painters tape. I was wrestling the paper into place on a post during a blustery wind, when a woman came along and paused to read the poster.
“That is so kind of you!” She exclaimed. “Thank you. Thank you so much for doing this!”
I felt embarrassed and mumbled a rather incoherent reply about it being nothing and AirPods being expensive and something else that I’m pretty sure didn’t make sense to either of us.
Her over-the-top gratitude for human kindness left a huge impression on me. It’s like the world has been on a kindness diet the last couple years. When we see any evidence – no matter how ordinary or how small – that kindness and caring for strangers still exist, it can feel miraculous. It’s like coming across a chocolate cheesecake when you’ve had nothing to eat for three days.
When I posted an ad on Kijiji about the found AirPods I noticed two others had done the same. Two other sets lost in two other parts of the city and two other people trying hard to reunite them with their owners.
After I finished putting up my posters I carried on for a long walk.
While walking down a pathway, a woman coming towards me paused to pick up a couple small branches that had blown down in the wind and toss them to the side. Suddenly my heart swelled and there I was, experiencing my own immense rush of gratitude for another’s small display of human kindness.
When she got close I smiled and said, “I saw what you did back there. That was really nice of you.”
She smiled back and said, “They come around this bend so fast on their bikes, it’s hard to react in time.”
“Who knows who you might have saved,” I told her.
She looked embarrassed, but nodded and mumbled something I wasn’t quite sure of, and we carried on.
Kindness. It’s what humans do. We still look out for each other. We still care.
Don’t let the news convince you otherwise.
And if you lost a pair of AirPods on the Bow River Walking path, let me know!