The Kindness of Strangers

We are linked by a connection to Scotland. Whether a traveler seeking history and adventure, a migrant looking for roots or a Scot willing to pass on the wisdom and beauty of all things Scottish, we share a social media link to Scotland.

On what would have been my Dad’s 88th birthday I was home alone and preparing his whiskey toast when I decided to take a little risk and post this photograph on my friendly Scotland community board.

I asked if anyone was having a drink in Glasgow, would they give a small cheers to my Dad, Alex Johnston. Since Dad passed I do a sunset toast and usually on his birthday I bake a cake. Dad was not a sweet tooth at all. As I was home alone with my lot in other states for work, I decided that Dad would much prefer an extra whiskey toast. (It is still outside waiting to evaporate up to heaven).

As I was enjoying the quiet end of day with the birds and our border collie, I began to receive kind and heartfelt comments and the happy reactions of folk, generous with their good will.

How Dad would have laughed at me being surprised at the notion that if you gave a Glaswegian a reason to have a wee drink – “that thae widnae dae jist that! ” As I write – well Dad, our toast made 560 people happy to have a wee nip!

Whilst many were from Glasgow and parts of Scotland, we had good wishes and cheers sent from Banff, St Louis, Texas, Ontario, Florida, Pennsylvania, Netherlands, Israel, New Zealand, England and Australia.

It was lovely and comforting to enjoy sharing this reflection time with so many good hearted community members.

Quite a few members taught me, Sla’nte Mhath meaning ‘health’ and a great way to do cheers in both Irish and Scots gaelic.

I know I will be home to Scotland again one day and who knows perhaps I will just happen to be in one of the pubs in Argyle or Sauchiehall Street where my young Dad would have been having a pint and one of the many kind strangers who shared some social media cheers may be standing alongside of me as I raise a glass, “do dheagh shlainte!”

Photo by Aimee on

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