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Last night when I accompanied my sister to take my niece to the hospital I realized that being a parent is so much more than just playing or being funny to make them laugh when they’re crying. Being a parent is a 24/7 thing, especially in the early months and even more when they are sick. I saw my sister carrying my niece (she didn’t want to go with me) for three hours until a doctor saw my niece and it was only because she got purple and stopped breathing. Saying that it was terrifying doesn’t do it justice, my heart literally stopped, everything happened so fast.

It was in the time that I had to stay outside that I met this young lady with her son and daughter. She was waiting to be admitted because her son was very ill and when she saw what happened to my niece she began to cry. Being the small hospital that it was, people just seemed to bond out of a mixture of fear, hope and nostalgia. She told me how she had a son who got like that while she was pregnant with the little one she was holding. He died in her arms, and then it was everyone comforting everyone.

It was a weird feeling but we all seemed to be there for one another. Everyone in that tiny waiting room suddenly started to swap stories as to why they were there or past experiences. You see so much in an emergency room, so much. You get to see just about every human emotion from the happiest to the most heart breaking. It was the parents that really got me thinking about what it really means to be a parent. It seems almost as if being a parent gives you some kind of superhuman strength, and some parents are truly ones to be admired.

In the end my niece was released in the middle of the night, many of the people we met were still there waiting. As soon as we walked out they rushed over like any family member would, and wished my niece and my sister the very best. With their blessings and heartfelt stories we went on our way home, and blessed we were with my niece’s recovery. Something that has always bewildered me is how much support and familiarity you can find in a stranger, this one is for all those wonderful people we met for they are a real testament of hope.

Smile, there may be someone who might just need to see one to believe again.

    Earlier in the week I decided to go for a walk, mostly to clear my mind up from everything that has been going on in my life lately. I realized how little we appreciate the feel of sweat. Yeah thats right, sweating. Its a nice feeling, makes me feel like I’m actually doing something. It was a long walk and felt longer because it had been nearly two weeks since I had last gone for my walk. I took it rather slow, taking in the sights, the smells, the noises of the semi-busy streets. It was lovely.

On my way back home I decided to stop to grab a cup of coffee, it was early in the morning and I figured what better way to continue my morning than with a nice cup of joe! So there I was doing my coffee ritual, still thinking of thoughts that lingered my mind, minding my own business. When I reached the counter to pay for my coffee the cashier guy tells me that the guy in front of me had paid for my coffee. By the time I realized what had happened the guy was already getting in his car, and I figured there was no point in running to catch up to him to thank him, so random stranger Thank You!

I thought it was a very nice random act of kindness, selfless too. Most intriguing since he wasn’t the kind of person to wait around for a thank you or asked for anything in return. See, now that is something very admirable. I wish I had returned the favor to have done that to at least someone else but no one else was at the store at the time. One day I’ll return the favor, I feel like its my turn to pass on that random act of kindness, and that makes me wonder how far that act can go? Its the little things that count, the selfless acts of good, think about it. One little act at a time can not only make someone’s day (because it definitely made mine) but can make a big difference overall.

Smile, share a random act of kindness with someone. 

Sometimes I wonder how everything is so graciously calculated to the most minute detail. It’s incredible to think and wonder about the world around you and how it all compliments so “perfectly”. I’ll tell you a personal story of mine that made me think to a great extent. One day I had a major exam in school (this year to be exact), I studied, went to my class and took my exam and came out earlier than what I had expected. I felt a bit nervous for I had finished “too early” but I felt confident nevertheless, but that day I decided to linger around the hallways. Why? I don’t know I just did, I just walked around without a clue, without a reason. I then began to make my way out of campus, I walked slower than usual, taking in every scent, every breeze that caressed my face with a smile. As I kept on walking I saw another student walking the same path that I was in front of me. I pulled my phone out as I was checking the time when I realized I had a missed call, entertained as I was in my own little world I nearly bumped into the student in front of me. I apologized for not paying attention and then he greeted me.

We began a conversation that lasted almost two hours about the economy, the current status of school and to make matters more interesting his dislike of my field in science. I must say that young man was by far one of the most interesting and most intellectually captivating strangers I had ever come across. The guy made me think of so many issues that had never been presented so straight forward to me. He made me see a different side of the field I want to work in, a side that I hadn’t thought of before. The side of the people not in my field. The man was right in so many aspects, he talked to me about his aspirations of writing a book, it was all incredible to me. After that meeting I thought to myself, if I had not finished my exam early, if I had not walked those hallways without reason, if I had not walked slower than usual, if I had not reached out for my phone there is a chance that I wouldn’t be telling you this story. I wouldn’t have met that “intellectual stranger” that day. Funny how one small moment in time can change so many things in the future.

Smile, you might come across an unexpected but pleasant surprise.

     I think that we all got the talk about strangers when we were little. The same hold today, children are told the same thing, and for many good reasons too.

     As we grow older we begin to move away from that as we start to talk to strangers almost on a daily basis: school, store, work, park and even online. I’ve been chatting for a few years now, it might just be me but chatting seems to have changed dramatically over the years. I’m not referring to the new technology that enable us to play games or share pictures as we chat but rather what people look for in a conversation. One of the primary reasons as to why I stopped going into chat rooms was because people didn’t seem to look for someone to chat with who lived who knows where. Some years back people were more into having actual virtual conversations that didn’t start with uncomfortable words or questions. Per haps it was because not everyone had access to the internet, or something entirely different. Not to mention the screen names that are in use, you know those rated R ones.

     It doesn’t matter what chatting service you use, there will always be some rated R screen name user trying to bug you with questions or links or a mix of both and in between.

    There seems to be some sort of ‘hope’, and I say sort of because nothing is ever safe or even bug free 100%. Say hello to Omegle with their slogan as “Talk to strangers!”. it’s a very simple yet effective service. There is no signing up, when you’re ready to chat you are randomly connected with another stranger. If at any point you feel like you want to stop talking to this stranger you just have to click the ‘disconnect’ button. You are then given an option to connect again with someone new.

     The service has been available for a few months now and it seems to be gaining popularity. I’ve used it a few times myself and it’s a fun service. Sure you might meet the weird person who also bugs you but there is also a good chance you might meet someone who actually wants to have a ‘normal’ conversation.

  Of course keep in mind that safety should be a priority. Have fun using Omegle, who knows I might even  come across someone that reads this blog.

Smile because some strangers are nice.

-Casper

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