When I first moved to Burns Lake, almost anyone I met told me about the kindness, the compassion and the massive heart of the community. It was heartening to see, but it was also easy to assume that this was a bias harbored by those living in the community.
Over the few days and months, I have slowly realized that there definitely was truth in those observations. Case in point is this week’s Letter to the Editor and the story titled “Burns Lake locals’ kindness to strangers, after a broken-down van.” Two acts of kindness in the town for strangers, travellers. In a world filled with so much mistrust and negative stories, it has been extremely nice to see the kindness showered on these strangers, especially during a pandemic where selfish hoarding, racial discrimination and mask-shaming is quickly becoming a norm.
But as much as we would get disillusioned by all the negativity around us, the world isn’t always a terrible place with mean, unkind people. Elsewhere around the world, really heartwarming stories of kindness have popped up to counter with all the pandemic stress.
One man from England’s East Hampshire, recently had put up a poster that read “I have lost Jo, my wife and my soul mate. I have no friends or family and no one to talk to. I find the unremitting silence 24 hours a day unbearable torture. Can no one help me?” The response to this poster was unexpected to say the least. Within days, Tony, was flooded with emails and letters with people inviting him on road trips of USA, local teachers asking if their students could write him letters, people offering to take him on lunches, phone calls, and even folks reaching out to adopt him as a grandfather.
Chef Barney Corrigan in New Jersey lost his job due to the pandemic but didn’t lose his spirit to help others in need. He turned his home garage into a food pantry for the needy in the community. His initiative prompted others in the community to offer donations and help and the pantry now serves over 60 people bi-weekly.
In India, a 106 year old Mastanamma, started her own cooking YouTube channel to help youngsters learn the techniques in cooking and share her knowledge with the world while elsewhere, an 8-year-old boy Abhijay won $2,500 for his animation on Covid-19 and donated all the money to UNICEF.
These instances of kindness, although seem like stand-alone incidents, are definitely beautiful but not necessarily rare. Kindness is all around us, we just need to tune it in, instead of constantly tuning into the negativity. And if you are in Burns Lake, well you are in luck because folks around here believe that kindness is supposed to be your second nature. So, look around and share with us some of your encounters with kindness.