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Small Acts of Kindness

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Sometimes this whole blogging thing is tricky. To put it simply: I have a hard time being myself. I worry I’ll offend someone if I’m too brassy or I’ll bore them if I’m too wistful. I worry I’m not funny enough. And I know I’m not cutesy.

But despite the worries, I’m trying very hard to be more genuine, which leads me to a confession: Today an old woman fell, and I was glad.


This morning I headed out for my usual run that takes me through a stretch of the neighborhood. Though many people are off, you know, working, there are plenty of others around: construction workers, moms and kids, tourists, people who I can only assume either don’t have jobs or work from home, and the retired elderly.

I love older people (unless I’m stuck behind their car, in which case, I don’t like them at all). I even think the grumpy ones are pretty amusing. Actually, the old people in the city are the very best, especially in my neighborhood where we have quite a few of the old school Italians. While the city has grown up around them, they’ve stuck to their old ways; the same deli, the same barbershop, the same church.

And they are always very kind.

On my run today, I encountered a couple that I guessed to be in their eighties heading out of the house. The woman was in stockings, sensible shoes, a dress, and a warm coat. The man had on a wool jacket, slacks, and stiff hat. They were dapper, off to breakfast, perhaps, or some weekly social occasion.

Like something out of a movie {cue slow motion}, the moment I ran by I saw the woman step back and lose her footing thanks to a split portion of the sidewalk. Realizing that she was probably going to fall, I turned back only to watch her land with a thud, backside down.

As I ran back, her husband rushed to her. He was trying to pull her up as I approached, but between the two of them they couldn’t quite manage. Of course, I lifted her up and placed her squarely on her feet; she was as light as a child, but thankfully, uninjured. Then I, and a young guy who had stopped to lend a hand,  set about helping her with the things she dropped.

She was very embarrassed and flustered; I would be, too, no doubt. I reminded her that everyone takes a stumble now and then, including myself. Then, I wished her a good day and continued along my run.And that was it.

Here’s why I was glad: It was so satisfying to help a person in such a small way, to talk to an actual neighbor in the middle of this big city, to see a young man jump off his bike to help an old man care for his wife, to see a genuinely loving couple in their eighties, to know that pity hasn’t replaced good old fashioned kindness completely.

So there you have it.

I’m the kind of person who gets her jollies from the misfortunes of sweet little old ladies.


Written by ditheringmiss

August 6, 2009 at 4:33 pm

One Response

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  1. i know what you mean! some old man simply asked me for directions the other day and it felt good just to share a smile and help someone that i didn’t know… and i want to figure out how to put myself in situations to help people more often.

    anyway, thanks for visiting my blog 🙂


    August 7, 2009 at 1:44 pm

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