When The Student’s Ready

You’re not supposed to talk about your random acts of kindness, but to say I was humbled by this experience makes me want to share it.

I was having a really bad day after losing my house keys while running. My carelessness caused self-condemnation that was off the charts, calling myself names like, idiot and schmuck before checking into the Pity City Motel.

Oh yes, my mother, my biggest critic, came back to lead the band while I did a mean solo.

After borrowing the building’s set you have to provide, made copies, including a pricey mailbox key. But before I could fix everything in a neurotic New York minute, I had a doctor’s appointment downtown.

As I get off at Union Square licking my wounds, coming out of the turnstile, a little man with a bandanna wrapped around his face asks if I’d let him in with my Metrocard. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, but the card I have now, my… you’re old Susannah so you get to ride the train half price card… doesn’t allow it.

I explain this to him, but his huge black eyes, like a sad seal, speak to me.

I could buy him his own card.

I tell him to wait, this man who barely comes up to my waist, while I walk to the machine. After a slight splurge, said to him, “Hold on to this card so you don’t have to pay for another. Just add money to it.”

The MTA charges a dollar for a new one.

The man never takes his eyes off of me, and then starts to cry, I believe because someone took the time to treat him like a fellow human being.

“It’s okay,” I said, “please don’t cry. I’m having a bad day, but it just got better helping you. By helping you, you helped me.”

Here I am out of my mind for losing keys to my home not seeing the grace that I have one. This man, who hadn’t asked for money, just help getting onto a train, more than likely doesn’t, my humility now on her 10th curtain call.

I give the man a Kleenex he gently takes and then, and my friend Ed will kill me for this, convinced I should travel in a Baggie, despite any 6 foot rule, hug him.

We, the teacher and student, then go on our respective way, lesson learned, hearts lifted.   


About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
This entry was posted in Culture, Faith, grace, Gratitude, humanity, inspiration, New York City, words, writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

51 Responses to When The Student’s Ready

  1. robprice59 says:

    Great story Susannah.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, I love this story. Why are we so often our own worse critic? I’ve caught myself doing the same and yet have no history of ever being belittled.
    I agree that the giver often gets more from an act of thoughtfulness than the receiver. It’s also true if you are scared or worried. Reassuring someone else eases your own feelings.
    I wonder how long since he had a hug? I bet it was a lot longer than Covid has been around.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll bet that too. He was the sweetest looking man with eyes I’m not likely to forget anytime soon. He really made me stop feeling so sorry for myself. As far being hard on our ourselves, it’s a bad habit that needs to be quelled, since, we’re just human after all. Thanks Skinny.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a beautifully uplifting story! Thank you for sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dale says:

    Oh the horror of losing keys (hopefully limited to apartment and mailbox…) and this was a lovely share. We are all human beings living different circumstances. If only everyone would stop judging and just help out when they can. Have a fabulous day!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. kingmidget says:

    Sometimes a hug is needed, even in this age of the pandemic. Maybe because of this age of the pandemic. I miss hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Patricia says:

    Wonderful story. Blessings come in many forms, some we get some we give. All are beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Heartwarming story, Susannah. I love when good things make a bad day better.


  8. I absolutely love your pieces like this, Susannah. What a great story. It’s so easy to stew in our bad days but you’re right: doing something for someone else is a great way to pull yourself out of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sorryless says:


    Rules are made to be softened when humanity knocks at the turnstile. There’s no better way to soothe the savage beast in all of us, that inner voice that’s calling us all manner of four lettered objectionable, than by giving something to someone. Just. Because.

    You are a blessing.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great story. We often don’t see how blessed we are and what we have, but often there are people in tougher situations, whether financially, property wise, socially or psychologically. God said to Abraham “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you
    I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.” We are blessed to also become a blessing to others.


  11. HI Susannah,
    You do make the world a better place! Thank you for spreading kindness everywhere you go!
    Wishing you better days and a blessed Valentine’s Day! ♥♥

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Have you ever R E A L L Y needed to hear something? I’ve been locked in my room at the City Pity Motel for a few weeks, actually a hair away from setting up residency. This just warmed my heart while smacking me in the face. I Gotta go pack.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You made me laugh, and boy, did I need it. I remember you writing me that morning asking, how were things, and when I told you I had lost them, you said, did you contact Saint Anthony who, for those of you who may not know, is the patron Saint of lost things. I said, seems he’s outta town. Humor, rides in on her steed. Now just so you know, all rooms at the Pity City, don’t have locks so you can leave at any time.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. lockalcordo says:

    Very compassionate story. I’ve missed meeting new people since the pandemic started. …Sometimes we have to remember to give that same compassion to ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I was deeply touched. You and your writing flow beautifully and how I love it that you hugged him. We all need to have a free spirit!
    Bless you for sharing and for your love,

    Liked by 1 person

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