The Kindness of a Complete Stranger

“The world is full of good people. If you can’t find one, be one!” — Unknown

This is a story of an act of kindness from a complete stranger which had a profound impact. It happened when I was in Saint Lucia with my family.

My sister, Deanna, who also happens to be my best friend and one of the funniest and kindest people I know, went blind in one eye about 9 years ago. Deanna sometimes feels self-conscious about the way her eye looks now. The pupil is no longer black; it’s bright and shiny—it sort of “glows” in photos. Deanna recently purchased a special contact lens that makes her eye look like it did before it changed colour, but she doesn’t wear this lens often because it becomes quite painful after about an hour.

This is a picture of my brother-in-law Ted, my sister Deanna, and me taken a couple of days before the photographer’s act of kindness.

One night during our holiday, a resort photographer was taking pictures of the guests as they entered the area set up for dinner. Deanna casually said if she had known there was going to be pictures taken to capture this special memory, she would have worn her custom contact lens so her eye wouldn’t be so shiny in the picture.

The next day, I was sitting with Deanna and her husband Ted. While we were talking, the photographer who had been at the dinner the night before, handed her a photo, leaned in and quietly said, “I matched the colour of your eyes in the picture.”

As he walked away, my sister happily said to me and Ted, “Look! He fixed my eye!”

The photographer stopped. He turned around and walked back to our table. He put his hand on Deanna’s shoulder, leaned in again and gently said, “Just to be clear: I didn’t fix your eye. There isn’t anything wrong with your eye. I simply matched the colour.”

Her eyes filled up with tears. It was very healing for her beautiful heart to hear these words; what an inspiring act of kindness! It didn’t take much time and made so much difference. I will always remember those words and should a similar situation come up for me in the future, I’ll know just what to say. The photographer’s kindness has become a part of me—kindness is contagious! His kindness also made a significant difference in my sister’s life; it helped her change the way she feels about herself.

I have always loved the quote: “The world is full of good people. If you can’t find one, be one!” Choose to be a difference maker. Your acts of kindness—no matter how small they may seem—can ripple out and impact the world in profound ways!