A Random Act of Kindness For a Neighbor


My daughters and I were stopping by Bagel Bob’s—the best bagels in New York’s Greenwich Village— to get an easy dinner. Behind us stood two lovely older ladies chatting away about what was going on in their lives. I listened and smiled, hearing their back and forth about the nice day-to-day events in their lives. They were obviously friends and long time residents of the Village.

One of the women explained that she really needed to return a library book, but with the rain, it would just be too hard to do. It was worrying her, as it would soon be overdue.

I quickly turned, smiled, and said, “I go to Jefferson Market Library almost daily. It’s one of my favorite places in the world and is just down the block from my daughters’ school.”

They gently smiled back, a bit reserved.

“I’d take your book back tomorrow if you’d like,” I continued.

They just looked at me, a bit quizzical.

“I’d really be happy to take it back for you. Easy for me to do.”

They both smiled brightly now, as the woman reached into her bag and brought out the book.

“Thank you so much,” she cooed.

My daughters watched the whole exchange and smiled at our new friends.

When I later looked at the book, it seemed like it could be a fun read. So, the next day I went to the library, returned the book (I didn’t want her to think I hadn’t done what I would say I’d do), and then checked it out again under my card!

Thank you neighbor for the unintended recommendation and for helping me show my daughters what neighbors can do for each other!

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Heather Campbell

Heather Campbell is the CEO of Ready Set Recover, which helps people get ready for and recover from surgery. She lives in the Greenwich Village with her husband, daughters and dog and is thankful for her wonderful community.

1 Response

  1. I love how simple and intuitive your response was. As they say, “a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet.”

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