Here’s the good news and the bad news: human beings can be greatly influenced by those around them. It means that when we behave badly (and we all have our moments,) we encourage others to do likewise- and when we have a moment of remembering our shared humanity, that too can ripple out.
Walking down a main street in Toronto during rush hour, I paused to help an elderly woman who was walking toward me, crossing the street. She was vibrant and shining but a little shaky on the uneven pavement. No big deal. To my amazement, the bumper to bumper traffic not only paused to let us cross slowly, but then waited until I returned to the other side of the street to continue on my way.
I hadn’t expected that, had turned prepared to wait for cars to go through, but several drivers smiled and waved me across. I waved back in thanks. Honestly, I could have been in the village of twelve hundred close to the rural home where I lived for a decade. But I was in this huge, noisy, busy city where drivers were jockeying for position on crowded roads at the end of a long work day.
It lifted my heart to be reminded that we all have generosity within us and a thousand little opportunities to take turns encouraging each other to behave well every day. I know it was a small thing that did not ask much of anyone in the moment, but It felt like. . . we might just pull this living together thing off after all.
~Oriah (For some reason, starry skies always make me feel hopeful, so this seemed like an appropriate photo by Karen Davis at Open Door Dreaming to put with this little story.)