A heartwarming story made the rounds on social media after a mother wrote a thank you letter to the stranger sitting next to her and her toddler son.
The letter, penned from "an anxious mother" and posted on the Facebook page Love What Matters, tells a tale of a woman traveling "from Fort Lauderdale to Toronto along with her father and toddler." The trio got seated in a row such that the toddler and mother sat next to a stranger, "a big macho looking guy probably in your late twenties."
But rather than grudgingly put up with the child, the "macho looking guy" showed kindness and caring towards the child, picking up the toddler's blanket when it'd drop from his sleepy hands, making the effort to prioritize the toddler's rest over his entertainment, and even engaging the boy when he was awake.
The stranger was a model seat mate, offering both mother and son candy and gum for their ears, and letting the child rest his feet where he wanted.
When the flight was over, the macho guy helped them with their luggage.
The letter was meant to highlight the man's compassion and consideration, a simple thank you to an anonymous man that made one mother's life a little better when he didn't have to.
"Thank you for making our flight experience a lesson in compassion and empathy for others. That little boy will grow into a man one day (hopefully like you) and he will get a lot more out of your simple actions than you realize. You will make a wonderful father some day if you so choose."
But being on social media means any story has the chance to go viral, and sure enough, as the story's presence online grew, someone recognized and contacted the man from the plane, reports FaithTap.
His name is Ali Hyseni and he commented on the post about how "humbled and touched" he was.
"It was such a pleasure to meet such a loving family," he wrote. "Although he doesn't show in this picture, the young boy's grandfather should be the one receiving all this recognition. His patience and kindness towards his grandson was heartwarming ... We should all strive to be like this man."
The two continued to connect in the comments, and the story has touched lives across countries and continents.
And it just goes to show that a little bit of kindness can go a long way and leave a big impact on the people we meet along the way, and the world.