get out your hankies. Then, consider what would happen if everyone in town could thank and encourage each other via a public message board. That’s what one anonymous Canadian wondered, and so he or she started a website (and Facebook account) called “Spotted in Windsor,” in Ontario.
It was inspired by a similar site the local university created, according to metronews.ca. Most of the posts are positive, but not all. They run from, “Lost, one necklace,” to, “To the jerk who ran over my toe with his shopping cart,” to notes like this from yesterday:
I was walking through Wal-Mart this morning doing some regular shopping with my two daughters…We were joking about how quickly we can shovel…We talked about what I was going to make for dinner today and joked about how we pick the person who is going to have to do dishes. We played some I spy with my eye as we walked through the aisles…
After we paid for our stuff and made our way towards the exit, this man who was standing there with his 1 daughter stopped me and his daughter handed me an envelope. I asked what this was for and they said “it’s a gift just because and we would like it if you accepted it. There is a note inside explaining why.” His daughter asked if she could hug me and I said yes so she did and I felt such a warm hug. We said bye and went on our way.
When I got into the car with my girls I opened this card up. It said “just listening to you talk to your daughters reminded me of my mother who I lost 2 years ago. I made my dad follow you around for a little so I can hear you guys talk because I wanted to pretend that it was my mom talking to me. Please accept this gift card of $20 just because you made our day. Have a great Sunday and thank you.”
I am in tears while I type this to submit it because I do not think you know what you have given me. You just assured me that I am a great mother even though sometimes every parent questions themselves. But, you also showed me how amazing people are in my city and how glad I am to be able to feel the hugs of my daughters. I am sorry you lost your mom at such a young age and I wish I had your contact information because I would love to take you for a coffee one day. If you do see this please email me firstname.lastname@example.org. Share this if you could in hopes this girl sees it. There is no name or anything else in the card.
Signed, A mother who was really touched
What if we all started message boards like this for our towns or neighborhoods? Perhaps they’re already all over the place and I’m the last to know. (This would not surprise me.) But if you do start a “Spotted in _____,” please tell us! It could be just the thing to turn anxious, grumpy, worst-first thinkers into Free-Rangers who see that most people (shopping cart aggressors notwithstanding) are pretty good. And thank you to reader C.J. for bringing this to our attention. – L