It is nice, in times like these, to remember that here in Canada we are working to reestablish ourselves as a beacon of hope. Stories like this, reported on social media, are a positive antidote to the steady barrage of negative news.
So after a hectic week I arrived at union atation to head home. A family from Syria was also caught in the hustle of union rush hour and only the oldest child (11) of the 5 in the group spoke English. They were trying to get to London to be with family.
They came to Canada 4 months ago.
A young woman in her early 20's was helping them and she bought their train tickets to be kind.
They had 2 baby strollers and 3 other kids and heavy bags so I helped them get to the train but other random strangers picked up strollers and bags to help them up the stairs as well.
Once on the train I realized they had gotten some incorrect advice as they were on the Lake Shore West train and were headed the wrong way. I spoke to the helpful man working on the GO train to find out where they had to go to get a bus to London. It was Aldershot but there was only a via train which cost a lot and they had budgeted for much less.
The error was not their fault.
So I missed my stop and went with them, planning to buy 7 train tickets because that's what we do in Canada. We help. Every one on the GO train was also helping, calling friends who spoke Arabic and giving me money to help cover their ticket costs.
We got to the train station and right before I could pay the fares a lady came running out of the GO kisok yelling 'stop'!
Somehow the main GO company had heard what was happening and was sending a bus to take the family to London.
It was almost overwhelming, the way people wanted to help. It has been one of the most moving experiences. The number of people who on a random hot July Wednesday during rush hour who tried to help a family of strangers who are our newest Canadians. Lots of bad things happening in the world right now and not enough compassion.
Compassion is better.
A huge thank you to GO Transit and all the random kind people I encountered today. You are why this is an amazing country.