You have likely come across one in your day to day life. One who sweeps down and does that little thing that makes your day go smoothly… saves you from a bind… sweetens your experience and brightens what would have otherwise been a not-so-happy situation.
Today I had one of those Everyday Heroes make my morning incredible (well my whole day in fact!). You see Malcolm had his matriculation today. In North America we typically don’t do it anymore, but here in historic and formal Oxford it is the process where new students are officially registered for University/College. It was quite the site to see literally hundreds of people in suits/skirts and gowns walking through town. For some of the larger colleges I could only imagine it would take quite some time… they were lined up for blocks! Alas, I’m getting off topic. Malcolm had borrowed a gown, bow tie and cap from a teammate (so he wouldn’t have to buy it) but as he took it out of the bag it was completely wrinkled. And being new here, we have no iron. AND, being late at night there wasn’t much we could do about it then. This morning we tried to steam it in the bathroom, which did absolutely nothing.
So, I called the local dry cleaner and explained the situation. She said she could iron it so I hustled over. She kindly ironed it right there on the spot so I wouldn’t have to return. As she was doing this I also asked about if they had hangers I could buy because so far I’d only been able to find hangers that were more than $1.50 EACH!!! (seriously?!). After she finished ironing his dress shirt, and gown she gave me a bag full of hangers!!! When I went to pay – she said “Oh no, that’s ok. Just remember us this year…” Honestly!
Perhaps that doesn’t seem like much. But to me she was the hero of the day. Her kindness and generosity were incredible. Her warmth and care made me feel like there IS so much good in the world. And I felt blessed to be on the receiving end.
And so I leave you with this. Sometimes we think a gesture is too small or insignificant. “Why would we bother?” BUT, to someone else that small act might be HUGE! Never underestimate the importance of a simple kindness. I cannot wait to pay this forward… and I am so grateful for this beautiful woman and her lovely shop. (By the way if you’re ever in Oxford and need something dry cleaned, pressed, or just to say hello drop into Excel Dry Cleaners in Summertown). There are angels among us!