the littlest metropolis

I went into the city (for clarification, “the city” will always mean New York City) today with my family! It was a beautiful day, 60 and sunny.  We galavanted around midtown for a bit, went to the Children’s Public Library and Bryant Park, and made our way to 410 W 42nd Street to see For Goodness Sake.  I got to spend time with one of my best friends on the planet, and we went for a delicious dinner afterward at The Perfect Pint.

However, as you know by now, the purpose of this blog isn’t for me to gloat about what adventure I’ve been on, or to simply recount the activities of my day, but to share a little bit of simple human kindness that I witness from day to day.

This trip, I decided that I was going to be the cause of someone else’s happiness.

We took the train into Grand Central Station, which everyone knows is a hustling and bustling place.  In line to use the bathroom, I noticed a girl about my age with a heavy suitcase and an adorable Vera Bradley backpack.  I was admiring the purple and green colors (my favorite) of her Vera, when I noticed her front zipper was undone.  I didn’t know what was in there, nor did I care, but it was clear that she was a little overwhelmed with her quantity of luggage as well as a little timid about being by herself while traveling.  I mentioned to her that it was unzipped, and she was so thankful, but had immediate dismay on her face when she started to figure out how to unload everything she was carrying to close it.  I offered to do it for her, and again, she was incredibly thankful.  It’s the kind of thing I’d want someone to do for me if I were in that situation, so why not?

Later, still in Grand Central, I saw a couple with a young boy taking turns playing photographer so everyone had the opportunity to be in front of the camera.  Now, this is a really weird thing of mine that I do.  Whenever I’m out somewhere, especially the city, and I see people taking pictures where they clearly would prefer to be in it together, I always offer to take their picture.  There have been countless times that I’ve been somewhere with friends or family and have looked helplessly for someone to take a picture of us, but everyone was in too much of a hurry to bother.  So, guest photographer Amy struck again.  I offered to take their picture, and they were so happy and grateful.  Additionally, in return, the husband offered to take a picture of all of us! (See below)  It just goes to show you how karma can come back around.

Finally, I had a moment that made me most happy.  We were walking back to the train at the end of our day, and we happened to be approaching a small hotel’s entrance just as a small group of people were walking in.  It appeared to be a elementary-age grandson, his mother, and his grandmother.  They each had a large suitcase and were barely able to get them up the few steps and inside the door.  Somehow, the grandmother got stuck at the end of the line with her suitcase and was having a battle maneuvering it inside.  I quickly hopped up to her and offered to help her and carry it up the stairs and inside the lobby.  She hesitated, (as I’m sure that I would have if a stranger offered to help me with my bag- I wouldn’t want it stolen!) but quickly rescinded the grasp on her bag when she realized my intentions were purely positive.  She thanked me, and continued on with her family.

I’m not bragging, I’m not trying to say “Look what a great person I am!” I just want to point out how simple these actions were, and how much they impacted the day of a few people.

Start small- one action a week that is simply for the benefit of a stranger.  From there, increase them in number and frequency.  You’ll be amazed at how appreciative the beneficiary will be, as well as how great it will make you feel about yourself.

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