The news these days is often depressing at worst and frustrating at best. It’s easy to get caught up in the spin cycle and let it get us down.
Never fear… The News Blender has you covered. Once a week, we feature Something Good and, in return, all you have to do is tell us something good that has happened to you this week, something you are thankful for, a joke, a cute animal story, an inspiring tale of heroics, a Random Act of Kindness… SOMETHING good.
Our first Something Good for the New Year is a enchanting example of unexpected kindness.
Five year old Layla, who is autistic and loves princesses, spotted who she believed to be Cinderella when she was playing at the park a couple months ago. Cinderella was actually Olivia Sparks, a heavy equipment operator by trade, dressed up in her bridal gown and at the park for wedding pictures. Layla got away from her mom and ran straight to the princess, interrupting the photo shoot.
In a moment where the bride would have been within her rights to politely sent Layla on her way, she instead played along as Cinderella. She told CBS’s Steve Hartman, “I was more than happy to be Cinderella for that little girl.” Olivia spent quite some time talking to Layla that day, before finally begging off to “go to the ball”.
In and of itself, that is a sweet story. But, CBS Evening News tells us there is more to this fairy tale.
Olivia continues to play along, seeing Layla often and Layla is still convinced her new friend is actually a princess. Autistic children can struggle with social interaction, but Layla saw Olivia as an instant friend and Olivia was happy to oblige. Jessica Lester, Layla’s mom, agrees with her daughter’s assessment that Olivia is Cinderella, saying that Sparks is the “epitome” of a princess: kind, sweet, and thoughtful. Being used to apologizing when Layla runs off and creates a scene, Olivia’s kindness meant the world to Jessica.
Olivia and her family even set up a GoFundMe to give Layla and her family a trip to Disneyworld, to see the “real” Cinderella. However, to Layla, the real Cinderella was waiting for her at home.
Sometimes, what seems to be a small, simple act of kindness is really a huge blessing to the recipient. In Cinderella’s case, the choice to play along with a child was an act of kindness that won’t soon be forgotten.
Now it’s your turn… Tell me Something Good.