I had a recent experience that made me re-appreciate the magic in the kindness of strangers:
One day in early March, from the early morning I accompanied my Dad Tom to a day ward in St James where he had numerous tests and scans. That afternoon they decided to admit him for observation but we had to go through the A&E system to get him a bed. Currently A&E in Irish hospitals are a grueling exercise in endurance. My heart sank as we started the first stage (queuing outside in the car park to register...). A few hours later I sat beside my Dad on a trolley in a busy corridor. He was unwell, confused and disorientated. I was hungry, exhausted and starting to feel I wasn't able to cope. Then, from out of the crowds, I recognised the face of one of the nursing assistants from the day ward. She had her coat on and was heading home but she felt compelled to find me to bring me some food and to bolster me up with kind words and a companionable hug.
What can I say? This simple but deeply caring act was exactly what I needed in that moment - food, encouragement and human kindness to give me strength to keep going until Dad got a bed (which he did later that night).
I am deeply grateful that this lovely woman went out of her way to help a stranger and I will never forget her compassion. Going forward I will look for opportunities to be that person for someone else.
So, if you have ever wondered about doing something for someone else and thought "oh no, that'd be a bit much/intrusive/not my place..." I suggest you DO IT ANYWAY, it could make all the difference to them. #kindness #allinittogether #gratitude.