Finding Kindness in Unlikely Places

Sitting on a rock by the river talking to a good friend, I couldn’t stop myself from crying. Tears streamed down my face uncontrollably, and I sat there, trying to put a smile back on my face. I had my first breakdown studying abroad; it wasn’t the people or workload that got to me. Instead, something that reminded me of an issue back home that had me on the edge. The thoughts brought tears to my eyes, but thankfully, they didn’t last long.

A man walked past with his beautiful dog, whom appeared to be part German-Shepard. He took one look at me and decided to stop. He spoke in Estonian, so it was difficult to understand him at first, but then he attempted to speak in broken Russian and English. He didn’t say much, but he didn’t need to. He knew that I was upset. He removed his dog’s leash and offered that I pet his dog. So I sat there, petting his friendly dog for a decent amount of time, which instantly put a smile back on my face.

It amazed me that this man, whom I had never met before, chose to stop and try to cheer me up after he saw that I was upset. It’s not something people do every day, but in this case, it was very moving for me. Never underestimate the kindness of others.

-Haley

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