Once upon a time I was ultimately impatient and quick to find fault. Today I like to think I’ve evolved. Today I was reminded that one of the few things I truly cannot tolerate is when someone’s reason for being intolerant of another is based on the other person’s background, culture, religion, race and personal preferences.

I have a neighbour and English is not his first language. I have lived on this street for close to 10 years now. My neighbour is a walker as are my dog and I. We always wave, nod, smile at one another, gesture as we make some comment about the weather and have done so for years. When my husband and I ran into him a year and a half ago at a local grocery he was, as always, gracious, smiling and greeting us warmly. It was obvious Richard wasn’t well at the time and after that encounter whenever I would see his gentleman he would always ask “husband ok?” It was about this time last year some weeks after Richard had passed away that he was out gardening as I went to walk my dog. He crossed the road to see me and ask about my husband. As I broke down and cried telling him he had died, this man of few English words reached out and held me. Compassion is universal. Today he rang my doorbell and as I tried to decipher what he was saying between his words and his gestures I realized he must have remembered it was this time last year when I’d told him of Richard’s passing. He had come to my house to let me know he was sorry for my husband’s passing and was I okay. This man of few English words was checking on me. When I realized this I was surprised and touched.

I’m not sure there is goodness in everyone but I am certain that where goodness exists it is not because of one’s background, culture, religion, race or personal preferences. I am grateful to be reminded that goodness can be found in many places. It helps to heal my heart. Thank you dear neighbour.