The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update


January 25, 2014

Viewpoint: Simple act of kindness priceless

My name isn’t important. I didn’t ask hers. I’m a disabled man with no medical care or meds and very little money. On Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 22, I was limping slowly down Cross Street with my cane in hand. I was walking home from the grocery in the subzero snow with a little bit of clearance table food. It’s about a four-block return walk home, but I wasn’t going to make it the last two because my back was in spasm.

The pain was close to the level where I usually lose consciousness. The sidewalks were not shoveled — as usual — and car after car drove past me either looking away or honking at me for being in their way.

Sure, some folks slowed down before they passed me, but so many of you are always in such a hurry. I was breaking the law by walking in the street and I was in their way but not from choice. I took the only usable path. An SUV stopped and a pleasant woman offered me a ride those last two blocks. I took it. I got home without falling or freezing.

I know that whatever selfish reasons kept other people from shoveling the sidewalks or offering me a ride are all very valid reasons in the minds of those people and I understand if not condone those reasons. I made sure that I gave thanks to that woman using sincere words in a way she may not have heard before. I think she will repeat her deed in the future for another even though all she got for her effort was a truly heartfelt thank you as she drove away.

So am I writing this to thank her? No, I did that already. I’m writing this to tell the rest of you the following. Every single person you meet is fighting their own internal battle you know nothing about. You never know what effect a tiny kind act can have. It may even make you a happier person for having done it. That woman was smiling as she drove off to whatever it was she put on hold for a few moments to help another human being. Her reward was simply the satisfaction that she did a good thing. Got it?

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