Yesterday, I had a moment with a complete stranger. I was rushing to a meeting, running through the metro terminal, to get up the escalators. I was trying to get to my badge to gain entry to my building, but of course my badge was buried at the bottom of my purse. As I am standing there struggling to juggle my purse in one hand and looking quite frustrated by the fact that I can’t find my badge readily, I hear the voice of a man as he says to me “you are quite a beautiful woman.”
Now, normally I would not look up, as I not the kind of woman that would assume those words are for me. But, I was cognizant of the fact that there were not many people around, and his voice was quite close. Just as I looked up, I caught the pearly white smile of an older man that looked like he was from the West Indies. He looked friendly enough, and not threatening in the least. So, I thank him for his kind words. As I walked away I found myself smiling, and I am pretty sure there might have been a giggle or two.
The random kind words of a stranger literally made my rushed commute, frustration with overstuffed purses, discontent with security badges, and stress over a meeting I was running late for just disappear. As I walked the rest of the way to the meeting, I started thinking about that man’s wonderful smile. How nice it was of him to take a moment to utter a few words that turned my day on a dime. Not an easy feat when public transportation often puts me in a less than favorable mood.
As I get older, I appreciate the fact that there is still a bit of real humanity and civility still alive in America. More often than not you see the lack of manners and the ugliness of society. But every now and then… a stranger comes along and makes it a tiny bit better for me.
How powerful a kind word can be. How very comforting a complete stranger can be.