Once again I’m on the train after a less than stellar day’s work, my spirits flagging. A young woman gets on with four boys ages ranging 12 to 3, lined up like a little platoon.
I notice a middle-aged man scolding her for something, perhaps for pushing a bit, but hey, they’re kids, and she needs to make sure they’re all accounted for especially during rush hour.
The car is packed though I have a seat, looking at the youngest boy who was more than sweet in his little striped T-shirt, his face the color of cream, so I say, “Would you like to sit?”
The mother immediately says,” Don’t you get up for him. He can stand.”
The boy looks at me as if to say, I could use a lawyer on this.
I smile. “He’s little,” I say, “let him sit.”
He climbs onto the seat like it’s a pony, arranging himself, grinning at his brothers grinning at him. His mom pulls out a gadget that has a computer game he starts up with the grace of a Steve Jobs.
“He’s smart,” I say to the mother, whose exhausted face suddenly takes on the same smile I see emanating from her kids.
I then notice a shift in me where I no longer feel low and unworthy, like I’m worth ten cents a pound, after the way I was treated by some co-workers who are not too comfortable with my hearing loss.
My random act of kindness, forgetting about wounded feelings, was my martini, straight up, in a crystal glass.
Like St. Francis, the Elvis of Saints, said…
“Receiving is in the giving,” and he sure was right about that.