July 17th, 2006

sideview, obamame_sideview

Good Deeds

From todays' "Dear Diary" in the NY Times.

    Dear Diary:

    Picture me, a 98-year-old woman with a cane, coming out of the Lincoln Plaza Cinema on a recent Sunday afternoon. It had been brilliant sunshine when I went in, but now a few drops were falling.

    I headed quite briskly to the 64th Street bus stop on Broadway, planning to take any bus to 72nd Street. As I stood waiting, the skies blackened and the heavens opened up, letting fall a really heavy torrent.

    Suddenly a young man — in his early 20’s, I would guess — came up behind me and asked whether I was waiting for a cab. I said I was, if one came along before a bus. He said, “Get under my umbrella with me. I’ll stay and get you a cab”

    I said, ‘Who are you, and why are you so nice?’

    He replied, ‘I’m Michael, and I just got married yesterday.’ Just then my favorite No. 5 bus came — no cabs in sight. He put me on while I poured out my thanks.

    One more thank-you, Michael!

    - Ruth Proskauer Smith

I can relate to this one so much because I *DO* stuff like that for other people and/or have had stuff like that happen to me here in Atlanta. I think it's very important to reach out to people with small gestures like that, i.e. holding out umbrellas, opening doors for people with packages, picking up dropped packages, giving directions, etc. Why? Because the world is so mean and it's so easy to make it less so by doing little things that require little time and effort.

And when some stranger expends *real* effort, it can really change your outlook. Like years ago when this couple with a toddler rescued me and my grocery cart from a grocery store parking lot, when the skies had opened up and I was going to get soaked to the skin -- no umbrella and no bus shelter. I was just going to wait for the bus and wasn't asking anybody for help, but they just stopped and told me to get in. They drove 2-3 miles out of their way, into Reynoldstown, to bring me home to my apartment.

So my thought for the day: Help somebody, if you can. Are you really in THAT much of a hurry?