Yesterday not one, but two lovely gentlemen noticed that the Froggy and I were travelling together and moved seat in the métro so he and I could sit next to each other. This simple gesture from both of these men brought a massive grin to my face and really made my day. It was refreshing to have this thoughtfulness & kindness shown to me by strangers.
This morning whilst riding my bike, as though deliberately giving me an opportunity to repay its services, the world presented me with a child’s toy lying on footpath. Connecting the dots between the toy and the lady pushing the pram I had just ridden past, I brought my bike to a halt, picked up the toy, about-faced and, after several “excusez-moi”s managed to get the lady’s attention. “C’est à vous ?” Her look of suspicion at being approached by a stranger morphed to a lack of comprehension as to why I had her child’s toy & then finally to a semblance of gratitude accompanied by a surprised “merci”.
What did strike me about this interaction was the element of surprise, and I don’t think it was related to the child having dropped the toy. This lady was actually genuinely surprised that I had taken both the care to make the connection between her and the toy and the time to return it to her, just as I had been surprised by the kind acts I had benefited from yesterday.
It didn’t cost me anything except a small amount of time to return the child’s toy, just as it didn’t cost the men in the métro anything other than a small amount of movement. It is a shame that such acts of thoughtfulness that take so little seem to have grown somewhat rare, especially in big cities.
In these times of mobile phones and portable music devices that often keep us entirely absorbed in our little worlds, completely oblivious to needs & wants of others, there is a lot to be said for getting out of our heads and observing what is going on around us as we go about our daily routine. Making an observation that creates the opportunity for a little thoughtfulness and kindness can make a big difference to another person’s day.