A question for you: Goodness is all around us all the time. What is one thing this week that confirmed or restored your faith in humanity?
(Photo credit aaron gilson, made available via a creative commons license.)
My father-in law (a senior citizen with a bad knee) traveled twenty hours to watch my daughters run a twenty minute race. Restored.
Over the past few weeks I’ve watched a popular, smart, athletically gifted 6th grade girl repeatedly reach out to my shy, awkward, nervous 5th grade daughter. The 6th grader continues to invite her to run/stand with her, encourages her, and my daughter’s awkwardness is melting away in her presence, and her confidence is improving. The 6th grader comes from an incredibly nice family and the mother is a sweetheart. It reminds me little girls learn from watching their female role models — nice moms have nice little girls.
I nominate Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins and all of the Ebola health care workers for a Humanitarian Award. They have nothing to gain and so much to lose. They pave a path to sainthood and are an inspiration.
Friends like you, Sean, give me hope every day. Your writing, your work, and our conversations inspire me. I look forward to our daily updates. Keep doing your important work. We all benefit.
Given that Ebola currently has a 70% mortality rate, I am very impressed with the medical professionals who are volunteering to go stricken areas, and risk their own lives, to help others.
I had a couple of medical procedures this week at a local (and prestigious) hospital. You know, the kind of hospital that is so busy you feel like you are on the streets in New York City and everyone is just hustling and bustling to get from A to Z as fast as they can without even acknowledging your presence.
During my short 4 hrs at the hospital, I had four different orderlies wheel me around to different rooms and settings. Each one of them was very cordial and took time to chat with me and make me feel at ease and even laugh (which was unexpected given my fears). As they left, they all told me to “Have a blessed day”.
It was so comforting to know that seemed to care about me as an individual, not just a job they had to do. And their genuine nature endeared me even more to those working on the front lines in our healthcare system. I am reminded that a simple smile, a sincere hello and the sound of laughter is the best healing medicine of all. This is humanity at its finest when I needed it most.
Have a blessed day!
Have noticed several older men – presumably grandfathers – taking care of young children this week, including infants. All clearly exuded joy and pride and competence – and none had mom, grandmother or any other female nearby. Wonder how many missed the chance to do that with their own kids, but are now taking full advantage of a second chance?
For the first time in the 19 years I’ve worked for my little company my boss actually called to see how I was feeling on a day I went to work with horrible vertigo. He’s not an unkind man, just painfully shy but its easy to interpret that shyness for coldness and all these years its always kind of hurt my feelings he’s been so un-expressive. One little phone call was such a validating gesture.
This week, the ballet restored my faith in humanity. I was extremely fortunate to attend the New York City Ballet on Friday and Saturday nights. The program Friday was astounding. A Balanchine piece that opened looking like a Botticelli painting, a tremendously cheerful Jerome Robbins piece and most notably, a new work by a young choreographer that was modern and thoughtful and had the bee-hive as its theme. Made me think of Jon Haidt.
The ballet is inherently human. This question first stumped me because I was thinking about the beauty of nature. These performances reminded me of the beauty of humankind. Not only the gracefulness and talent of the dancers, but the profound creativity and collaboration that occurs between the dancers, the choreographers, the musicians and composers, and the audience.
Yesterday’s program was the farewell performance of Wendy Whelan, a prima ballerina who is 47 and has been dancing with NYBT for THIRTY YEARS. She danced all five ballets and demonstrated not only her amazing grace, but also her tremendous range (not to mention her unbelievable flexibility, which is even more admirable after having had hip surgery just a year ago). Between the dances, there were video clips of the upcoming documentary about Ms. Whelan. It was a joy to see that this performer, who has one presence on stage, is a full, complete talent, intellect and galvanizer. The video clips demonstrated her humor, her love of dance and her role within her ballet corps. It was clear that she is beloved.
However, just because someone is loved…. it isn’t always celebrated. My faith in humanity was restored last night not only by the dancing, but by the amazing celebration which left Ms. Whelan overwhelmed. After her curtain calls, a scene unfolded on the stage unlike any I have ever seen. First her two dancing partners gave her flowers. Then the director of the company…… and then it just continued and continued. The choreographers for whom she has been a muse, all of the principles and soloists and then finally the whole ballet corp, including retired members. As each appeared, you could see (even from the third ring) Ms. Whelan’s excitement expressed in her dancer’s body…. she jumped up and down with excitement, was twirled around the floor by the oldest male retired member of the troup. For her first dance partner… she leaped into his arms and then wrapped her legs around her….. and even female ballerinas lifted her as they hugged her. More amazingly, this all occurred in front of adoring fans who have delighted in her 30 years of dancing. A standing ovation in a full house at Lincoln Center screamed her name. As flowers accumulated on stage, confetti and streamers descended. It was a remarkable celebration for a woman who, through her art, dedication and heart, has enriched the lives of so many. The faith in humanity was affirmed seeing the beautiful person celebrated with passion and gusto for the beauty and joy she has given others.
Wow, what a bizarre NYC thing just happened that I have to share. I’m stuck in this “Express Train” that was sitting at the platform for a good 5 minutes. This guy is ranting at himself. Everyone’s ignoring him. Out of no where he throws a (heavy) candy bag at this young Korean women sitting 3 seats down from him. It hits her in the face. She’s stunned, stands up and walks to the other side of the subway car, tears start flowing down her eyes. This random guy says come sit over here putting himself between her and this crazy guy. He asks her if she knows him, she shakes her head as she quietly cries. Turns out he’s a cop. He walks over to the guy, scares the shit out of him. Train is at a complete stop “due to track issues.” She’s sitting there fiddling with her phone clearly just scared. I slide over to her and wrap my arm around her, just sitting there holding her as we all watch this cop interrogate this guy who is now shaking. She’s getting off at the same stop I am, and the cop had previously told him to get off at the next stop, and walk out of the car with his hands behind his back. I walk out of the train car with her telling her that I’ll walk her home. The cop gets out of the train too and walks the first few blocks with us to make sure that this guy wasn’t following her. Turns out, the young woman wasn’t going home. Some doctoral student left his laptop and she had found it and was bringing it back to him. So she essentially just got assaulted and was going to meet a stranger because she was performing an act of kindness. I walk with her to make sure she’s safe. The laptop owner brings her a bottle of wine as a thank you and offers to pay for her cab home. They drop me off on the way home. She’s a dental student who said she was so grateful that I helped her because she was so scared, which honestly, I don’t think people would have seen because she was so stoic, I could just feel. So she’s offering me free dental work (which thank god I don’t need right now), and all I keep thinking of is the many waves of acts of kindness that were all happening here. Her kindness to the doctoral student, the police offers kindness in helping her and getting off of the train just to make sure she was fine, my offer to walk with her, the students kindness to her. Bizarre New York moments, and #kindnesscounts
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