One morning I was rushing off to work. I grabbed a stack of paperwork that I had brought home with me the evening before and dashed to my car, determined to get an early start on my hour commute. As I pulled out of the garage, my coffee steamed in the stainless travel mug and my head was filled with my daily list of things to do.
As I sat at a traffic light, I cursed it for being so long. I stared straight ahead at the light, willing it to change to green. As I focused on the red traffic light, from the corner of my eye, I noticed a group of young boys riding their bikes in the crosswalk. They were all laughing and racing each other to the other side before the light changed.
Through my open window, I heard the warning beep for the crosswalk. It was then that I saw one of the boys turn his head around, looking back to where they had come from. I saw him turn from his friends that were safely on the other side of the street and turn around.
Before that time, I hadn’t noticed the even smaller and younger looking girl walking with a walker. The look of panic disappeared from her face as the boy rode back to her, quickly hopped off his bike and joined her side. He walked his bike carefully beside her as she hobbled across the road.
In an instant, this act of kindness made me forget about my worries and stresses of the day. It was so simple and so selfless. I could hardly see the light change to green through the tears that were collecting in my eyes. I barely noticed how they dripped down and left small, wet spots on to the outfit that I had so carefully chosen for work. The very thought that a sibling, or even a stranger, would leave his group of friends to help this small girl was more touching than I could describe.
They did not make it to the other side before the light changed. The boy waited until both her feet were on the sidewalk before lifting his bike up. Not one car moved despite the light change and even more amazingly, as the traffic waited for the duo, no one honked from behind.
That memory stays in my mind. It changed me for the better. I am kinder to others. I give strangers genuine smiles even when I am in a hurry. When I ask someone how they are, I listen for, and am interested in their reply. I stop to listen to the older person that has a story to tell me, even if I am running late.
What is a couple of minutes if it makes someone’s day better? That was the day that I learned a lesson that day about how an act of kindness could really strengthen your heart.
Edited by Jody Smith