I ride the subway to and from work everyday and am constantly witness to frustrated, angry, impolite people. I love NYC and can certainly appreciate the “edginess” of this place, but sometimes it does affect my day in a negative way.
This morning I witnessed something really simple. A man saw a young girl carrying a few bags, stood up and gave her his seat. No words were exchanged, just a relieved smile from the girl and a subtle nod from the man.
Do you remember that commercial from a year or so ago – I think it was for an insurance company – that showed how one good deed directly inspires another, and another and another until the whole world is in this perfect harmony of politeness and butterflies? As idealistic and overly simplistic as that commercial seemed when I first saw it, I became aware of how accurate that concept is this morning. After seeing that sweet gesture from that man, my walk to work was a little bit lighter. I held doors a little longer, I smiled a little more often. And I can only hope that the positive energy I was sending out (genuinely) was having the same affect on someone else.
The happenings of this morning led to a bigger thought. J & I haven’t touched yet on the Sandyhook tragedies – mostly because, I have no idea what to say. I don’t have anything but anger and frustration to add to the conversation. There’s no sense to be made here. Just when we thought our nation couldn’t possibly be more angry and violent and terrifying…it suddenly is. My only genuine thought has been, what kind of world do I live in?
Then this morning I saw this nice thing happen and I became aware of how that nice thing made me – someone not involved at all – feel. And faith in humanity and our crazy world began to creep back in a little. There are literally no words for what occurred on Friday. I’ve re typed this sentence about eight times and no word does it justice. But, when we as human beings become aware of our surroundings amazing things happen. And knowing that a simple smile or act of good will on your morning commute could potentially change the way a whole person feels, gives me hope.
A co worker of mine organized a paper snow flake making corner of the office today. The new school the children are being transferred to is hoping to get as many snow flakes as they can to decorate the school into a winter wonderland. It’s not much, but if it makes any of those little kids smile, I’m in. And it seems we all are feeling the same way. My office is on pause right now while everyone sits down with scissors and glitter making the best damn paper snow flakes ever made. We all want to feel better about our world and we all want to help. We just don’t know what to do.
So, don’t take my word for it. Try it today if you haven’t already. Be aware and do something nice for someone else and see how that makes you feel. And let’s hope that each time we make a move like that, someone else is watching and is inspired to do the same thing and someday we will live in a world filled with politeness and butterflies.
Here are some other ways to help and an address to send letters of support to families:
Sandy Hook Elementary School
12 Dickenson Drive
Newtown, CT 06482