We all need to be a little more like Matthew

Guy Dossi

It’s amazing how a few kind words can make such a huge difference.

Let’s face it, 2020 has not been an ideal year for many different reasons. It seems that everyone is struggling with something and there appears to be no answer or escape.

I’m not going to sit here and pretend like everything is all right. In just six months, I’ve faced some of the most difficult challenges I could have ever imagined. From challenges personally, physically, professionally, emotionally, spiritually and philosophically, this has been a difficult year.

And with all that, there are days where my mind goes to dark places (nothing harmful, but yeah, I tend to get sad). I’ll often think that life will never be the same and that everything that brought me joy has been taken away. That’s not to say that I’m not grateful for what I’ve got, but life has changed, and currently, it’s not for the better.

There have been times that I’ve thought about just giving up and letting the current take me down stream and wherever I end up, that’s where I’ll be. There’s no use fighting a battle when there can be no winner.

But then I got an email.

On a Saturday afternoon, I checked my email and I saw that a reader sent me something. Many times that I get emails from readers, I tend to tighten up because they are often letting me know about a mistake I made or how they were unhappy with something I wrote. That’s just something that goes with the territory.

This was not that kind of email. This was an email that gave me a much-needed smile. It was an email that, for the first time in months, made me genuinely happy. It was an email that I read to the lovely Mrs. Dossi and it brightened her day. And it came from such an unlikely person: a 9-year-old reader.

“My name is Matthew and I am 9 years old,” the message began. “I was never interested in the newspaper until I read one of your articles. Now, I am asking my mom every time a newspaper comes if there is a Guy Dossi article. My favorite article was when you said that you only used one light bulb and you took popcorn boxes out of the trash can to get free popcorn. My least favorite article was the one that said pineapple does not belong on pizza. My favorite kind of pizza has pineapple on it. Just keep on making funny articles for me and the other people to read, even if you are a pineapple hater. Your fan, Matthew.”

I have never met Matthew. I don’t know who Matthew is, what he looks like, where he lives or who his family is. But Matthew gave me exactly what I needed at exactly the right time. Here’s a 9-year-old boy who reached out to tell me nice things about what I do for a living.

He didn’t have to do that. Heck, there’s no way that I would have done that at his age. But he did it and it made me stop and think about the way I should be treating strangers.

With so much negativity in the world, how hard is it for me to be just a little more polite to someone I don’t know? Why don’t I tell people to have a great day more often, or take that extra step in trying to make someone happy? Matthew sure did.

It’s nice to know that someone as young as Matthew can still teach an adult a lesson and can be a positive example and shining light during dark times. I never know who is reading what I write and I always hope that it brings someone some sort of happiness. And after receiving that email, you know for sure that I’m thrilled to be back sitting at a computer and putting my thoughts down.

I got the boost that I needed. I got the smile back that was missing for months. I was once again, even for just a moment, happy.

I wish there were more Matthews out there.

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