If you look closely, you can see love and kindness all around campus. Photo: Jaclyn McRae-Sadik/Fulcrum
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From Sandy Hill to the U-Pass office, love is in the air

The famous Christmas film Love Actually depicts nine characters, each with a different lifestyle and culture. Despite their differences, these nine intertwined individuals are connected through a single emotion: love. 

The message behind the movie is mirrored in real life: love is what connects us all to one another. Simple acts of love and kindness can make a world of difference. Like we see in the movie, random acts of love and kindness between strangers have the capacity to lead to meaningful, life-long relationships in the real world.

Thankfully, kindness and love are not only present during the holiday season — we see it all around us, if we look closely. In light of National Kindness day on Feb. 17, we asked some students at the University of Ottawa to share their stories on the random acts of kindness they experienced from strangers on campus, and here is what they told us:

On-campus compliments

“I was walking home from class and a girl rolled down the window of her car and complimented my outfit.”

Tell a stranger you appreciate their style and clothing— sometimes we all need a boost of confidence.

It’s Our-Pass now

“I couldn’t find my U-Pass and a stranger stopped to help me. He tried to let me in with his own U-pass through the gate but it shut before I could walk through. Although it did not work, the kind man tried again and was so insistent on getting me through. It was very kind of him.”

Trying to navigate the transportation system can be challenging on a good day. It is so refreshing to see random acts of kindness, such as this one, where strangers are willing to go out of their way to help someone in their time of need.

Skateboarding S.O.S.

“When I broke my foot skateboarding on campus, about five people rushed to offer to help me.”

Literally and metaphorically, the people came together to lift up the fallen. 

Birds of a feather flock together

“I was studying at FSS when I noticed a man drawing beautiful pictures of birds, just a few tables away from me. When I complimented his drawing, he, an ornithology student, told me all about each of the birds and told me he draws them constantly because he loves them so much. In the end, I left with a lot more bird knowledge than I expected and a signed Galapagos pigeon drawing richer.”

It seems like your bird-loving friend was happy that someone cared enough to ask. It’s amazing the ability we have to make or break strangers’ days, something I hope everyone monopolizes for good.

Love and kindness are alive and well on the University of Ottawa campus. As we continue into the winter term, let’s remember that “if you look for it, you’ll find that love actually is all around.” As you can see from the stories of just a handful of U of O students, being kind does not take much effort. I believe we can all commit to continuing to create a welcoming and positive atmosphere on campus through our interactions.