I had a conversation about kindness at work the other day. My coworker was telling me that the thing that makes her most proud of her sons is that they are kind. She then told me a story about the week before in the city. The three of them saw a homeless woman shivering, and without even a thought, her sons went to the food truck down the street to buy her something (instead of giving her money, as homeless with money often makes you a target for other homeless. First it was water, but one argued that it was too cold, so they decided on tea. Then in expanded into tea with sugar and milk on the side and two hot dogs.
They were bickering over the best way to help the woman. That’s kindness. Just a random act, in a city where homelessness has once again become ubiquitous as rent, food, and medicine skyrockets. NYC can be merciless, but the people (believe it or not) are kind. We’re kind because unless you’re rich, we’re all a sprained ankle or staph infection away from living on the street.
I was moved by her story. So I said something cheesy, but true: Kindness is what really matters. We tend to measure success by being wealthy or having a good job, but so much of that depends on external factors and luck. Kindness comes entirely from inside of you. That’s the true way to measure success. To be a good person.
I think it’s true. I have to think so, because wealth, fame, and success have missed me. But if I can’t be those other things, I will be kind.
2020 is the year of the plague. My coworker’s family all have the flu. My dear friend has double pneumonia. My brother just went to the ER. A second strain of the flu virus is tearing through the area. Everyone on my FB feed has something or is taking care of someone with something.
Though not flu-related, I just found out that a friend had major surgery earlier this week, and may have cancer.