Once in a while, you hear a story so full of wonderful serendipity that it refills your wellspring of hope to capacity. Today at EWC we learn the answer to one important question: what is family?

Today on Ever Widening Circles we bring you just such a story, made even more interesting by the fact that it involves a well-known person doing something lovely and generous with his influence.

This is also an extraordinary story because it proves the power of a crowd when good things can be done.  It’s empowering to contemplate all the possibilities if we can just get a lot more of this kind of sentiment and action going.

After writing and editing over 1000 articles about the good things going on in the world – the only kind of article you’ll find here at Ever Widening Circles (EWC), one thing is very clear: generosity and goodwill are emotions that seem wonderfully contagious.

Here’s what the Full Frame Project at CCTV had to say about this video we have for you today:

When CCTV America cameraman Duane Watkins traveled to New York City on assignment in 2013 to film the Full Frame Close Up on Brandon Stanton, the man behind photography blog Humans of New York, he didn’t expect anything out of the ordinary. It was just another day on the job, but it changed his family’s life forever. It’s a story that is very dear to all of us who work on this program; it also serves as a reminder of the profound joy that can be found in family and that the kindness of strangers is not a relic of a bygone era.

Take a look at this wonderful turn of events, brought to us by Full Frame CCTV America:

Generosity is Contagious

Naturally, people who love Brandon’s work tend to love people and the wonderful complexity of life, and they would be exactly the sort of folks who would find meaning in helping Brandon unite such a loving family meant to be together.

Many of you know who Brandon Stanton is, but if you don’t, you can find his amazing work at a project called Humans of New York, where his gentle, approachable way has allowed him to photograph colorful New Yorkers and tell a little of their stories for the past 6 years.

Image: stacking a small rock cairn

Source: Pixabay

The extraordinary way he connects us to the humanity in everyone has led him to travel the world doing more of that.

The crowd who trusted Brandon’s sense of goodwill amplified it!

They wanted this boy to have a loving father. They each had a little money to spare that could make that happen. It’s not more complex than that.

Here’s something I’ve noticed after being a part of thousands of patients’ lives, and writing for EWC:

“When what you want will make the world a better place, circumstances start converging towards that end. It’s our job to notice and amplify turn of events that will result in good.”

– Dr. Lynda

What are the odds that Brandon could be in Ethiopia to be a part of this wonderful reunion?

Just another part of the serendipity and perfect timing sprinkled throughout this story.

Have a great day. Stay open, curious and optimistic!

~ Dr. Lynda

Has this story inspired you?

We’ve been writing about acts of kindness, innovation, and insight now for a few years, so you can see more of this kind of wonder. Check out a few of our favorites below!

5 minutes

The Most Successful Play of All Time

What if empathy and kindness would come naturally to kids, if we just stopped micro-managing their every move? Take a look at this wonderful lesson to all of us, taught by some middle-school boys.

Read More

20 minutes

Empowering Homeless People: One Stitch at a Time

Detroit resident Veronika Scott grew up in a broken home... and grew determined to end the sadness of the needy and homeless. Hear about her organization, The Empowerment Plan, as well as her coat/sleeping bag invention, in today's feature.

Read More

5 minutes

The Boy Who Lifted 33,000 Spirits

Sometimes we meet a child who radiates such otherworldly wisdom and compassion that we have to ask the question, "Where does this energy come from?" Meet a profoundly wonderful little being. (5m)

Read More

Hopefully one of these will leave you beaming!

If none of these seem like your cup of tea, you can also head over to our homepage to scroll down through positive articles on any subject under the sun. Our goal here is to change the negative dialogue about our world and we welcome you to join us! Or scroll to the bottom of this page to see a few more articles with a thread of connection to this one.



  1. “HONY REVISTED: Full Frame Close Up.” Vimeo. Full Frame CCTV America, 30 Jan. 2016. Web. 02 Jan. 2017. <https://vimeo.com/153620662>.

Dr. Lynda is a dentist, artist, global traveler, and philanthropist who looks for potential and shares it with the world. Hear her latest conversations with thought leaders on the Ever Widening Circles Podcast--new episodes every Thursday!