Toronto Inspires when kindness abounds.
Story by Fangying Liao, a foreign student who when studying in Toronto goes by her English name Doris.
I stayed in Toronto for 4 weeks in August, 2013 to attend a summer session at U of T. If you asked me what was the most special experience during my one-month stay, I would answer that it was the strangers who warmed me anytime, everywhere.
Another story is about a staff member at The Bay. One afternoon I intended to find a necklace for my mom, which was out of stock in this exclusive shop. Although there was no such style in The Bay, the staff still took nearly 20 minutes to call up other shops and to ask about it. Then, she told me which store might have the one I liked, how to get there, and why that store was the most likely one. As I’m not a fluent English speaker, she tried to explain it to me several times patiently. I knew even if I bought the necklace in another store, the profit wouldn’t be attributed to her. But she still wanted to help me because it was going to be a gift for my mom. I felt very moved. Before leaving, we shook hands. I expressed my thankfulness and she gave me her best wishes.
Things like these took place around me in every corner of Toronto. Once I came across a busker playing the violin at the subway station. As always, I gave a dollar and passed by. But to my surprise, he asked me to stop and listen for a while. He said only in that way could he pay my kindness back.
So many strangers have moved me, such as the passers-by who volunteered to take photos for us tourists, the customers who found my friend’s IPAD and waited for us to return to the same site, and … many more.
I’ve learned a lot in Toronto; not only English, but also attitudes towards life and the world. Try to treat everyone tenderly and softly, love is everywhere. That’s the most important lesson of what I learned in Toronto.