DC act of kindness

Snow was falling, and sidewalks were already slick with a half-inch of wet snow. A woman walked with her cane up to the crosswalk, clearly working hard not to fall, and assessed her options for getting across once the light turned. A young woman came up behind her, and the light turned. The young woman, seeing the other struggling, reached out her hand, and said a word. A connection was made. The one helped the other across the puddle against the curb, across the street, and over the opposite puddle. All the way, two mouths moved and two heads nodded, affirming human connection and human dignity with friendly words. Then they were on the far sidewalk. The initial reason for their connection gone, I thought I saw the young woman hesitate for a split second, as if making a decision. Just a split second. Then, her choice made, the two figures continued slowly together, the connection still visible even through the snow, until they were out of sight. 

When I moved to DC, I was worried that everyone would be focused on themselves and on the “who you know” game. I didn’t expect there was much room for simple kindnesses to strangers.

Perhaps this was unfair. Last night waiting for the bus at Cleveland Park, watching this scene unfold, my belief in the good inherent in human nature was reinforced. Even in this town.



About developingnathan
I am a reflective person. I am an introvert, a friend, a brother and a son. I appreciate a well-crafted glass of beer, piece of music and turn of phrase. I am a professional of international development, a good pianist and a Green Bay Packers fan.

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