I have lived a significant portion of my life in the northern latitudes, where a southern-facing window is valuable for letting in much-needed light. I can remember sitting as a child in the warmth of our picture window on a cold yet sunny winter day, just basking in the light, soaking up the beauty of that vitamin D.

For the last decade or so I have lived in the sun belt of the US, and there a large southern window does not have the same value. In fact, where I live now in Florida, southern windows are often seen in the opposite “light”, where they are often avoided as they tend to let in too much heat.

Due to my upbringing, I often find houses without a southern window to be overly dark and I miss the warmth that comes in a southern window. My current home was built with no windows on its southern side in order to help it remain cool. To compensate for this lack of direct light we have had three solar tubes installed to help to lighten the house, but alas it is not the same for me.

However, one of the rooms on the southern side of the house, our guest washroom (which was built with no window in it), has a very small window in it due to the kindness of a neighbor who lived next door before I came. It is by far the smallest window in the house, but without any doubt, it lets in the most light of any window. In fact, it not only floods the bathroom with light, but the light also pours out into the hall, and on into the main living area as well.

I have often thought about how blessed I am to have that small window. Each time I see its direct light reflecting off our floor, I am thankful to this neighbor whom I never met. Without knowing it, he has made a huge difference in my life.

When he put that window in, I am quite certain he never thought about me or any of the owners that might come after me. He was simply helping his current neighbor who had asked him to put it in.

I guess that is the nature of most kind deeds. One never knows who they eventually impact. They might seem trivial at the moment, or often inconsequential at the time, but they can reverberate through time and space.

As you think on your own life, who has made a significant contribution to your happiness, without knowing they were doing it? Was that person perhaps a relative, possibly an anonymous donor to your university, or maybe someone who gave sacrificially to build the church that you presently attend?

If you stop and think about it, our lives are full of such people. People who have significantly impacted us for the better, yet you will likely never meet them.

It is this type of gratitude that may give you the strength to be such a person yourself. The world is getting less kind or meaningfully connected, but there are still a lot of “small windows” that can carefully be put in…and their impact on those who come after us may be as strong as ever.

-The Loan Arranger