Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Deposits of good

Okay, I guess not every source of inspiration has to be profound. Follow this link and play the movie to start your day with a smile (be sure to have your audio on for the song).


And this reminds me that I wanted to be grateful for a bit of help I received yesterday. I was waiting at a T stop in Boston to get downtown, and reading the rather complicated instructions about fares. The machines to get a token didn't work, and there was no attendant. But I had to get downtown quickly, I had been running late. I needed $1.25. I had the quarter, but no single.

I figured it would just work out somehow, I'd tell the trolley driver a sob story or something, but then a young professional guy appeared. He was really adorable, dressed well, smiling face, I don't think I'll ever forget the impression he made. And we got to chatting. Clearly he was very familiar with this train, so I asked him what the deal was with the payment. Eventually I asked him, too, if he had change for a $5. Sadly, he said, "No, I really don't." But then he handed me a crisp new one dollar bill!

I don't know why this touched me so much. I was thanking him profusely as the train rolled up. He watched over me as I paid and got a seat, and said "good luck!" for my appointment downtown. Then he disappeared into the crowd.

I just smiled for several stops. It eventually occurred to me to give him my card in case I could ever respond in kind, but of course by then he must have already left the train because I couldn't find him.

Why is there so much power in such a simple act? In itself it was small, but the nature of it, the gift, the unexpectedness, the grace and goodwill expressed -- all that packed into one moment.

What do we do with unrequited goodness? For me it feels like my account is out of balance, and I have to reconcile it somehow. I've received more good than I've given, so I have to give back. And since I can't give back to the gracious one who gave to me, I need to seek and find a place to make my own good deposit.

Yet the good feeling doesn't wear off when I help only *one* person, I find myself now wanting to help every person I see. Perhaps that's the way that young man goes through life, just ready to help. What a world it would be if we were all like him.

Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
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At 5/29/2005 08:33:00 PM, Blogger Joe said...

Who knew a Wendy's marketing campaign could be so inspiring? (Their burgers are square, as opposed to the usual circle, hence the 'It's Good to Be Square' campaign'). It's smart advertising - pitching themselves as the 'alternative' choice! Off the beaten path!

...As opposed to a company which needs to do something to quit losing marketshare and would like people to conveniently forget their sinking fortunes. :)


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