Monday, March 15, 2010

I saw a good deed the other day

So the wife and I were in New York City for the weekend, and oh what a wonderful weekend it was to travel to NYC.  We enjoyed at least 6 inches of rain per hour, or so it seemed, and the cabs looked like they would have done better as boats in the newly-transformed Manhattan "Canal District".  But on Saturday, for lunch I believe, we headed to the deli next door to our hotel to eat.  We ended up sitting at a small bar along the window, so we had a beautiful view of the back of some smoker's head, the ambiance of seeing New York City scaffolding on the building across the narrow street, and the pleasant smell of disinfectant, since the deli guy had just mopped our area a minute before we sat down.  Mmmm yummy!!! ...

Regardless, as we sat and ate I saw what I think was a good deed.  It was surprising, and nice.  I saw a mid-late-twenty-something guy walking on the sidewalk just outside the deli in front of us.  We'll call him Guy A.  Guy A was carrying, and using, an umbrella, because it was raining (didn't I just mention that??).  About 20 feet further I saw another guy, Guy B, run to his car which was parked at the curb and try to open the door.  He was umbrellaless (is that a word????  NOW IT IS!!!!).  His car door didn't open.  This resulted in Guy B frowning and smirking, since he was getting more wet by the second, and fumbling in his pockets for his car keys.  Right at this time Guy A, Mr. Umbrella, was passing by him, saw this and walked over to him and held his umbrella over Guy B to help keep him dry.  Guy B looked back, said "Thank you" or something equivalent (I assume --- I couldn't hear what he said, and Guy A remained there, implying to me that Guy B did not, in fact, say "Screw you!!!") and reached into his car for a few seconds.  Guy A remained holding his umbrella over Guy B.  Guy B, several seconds later, got out, closed his car door, put his arm around Guy A and they both walked on, out of my line of vision.

I am not sure that this was a pure act of unwarranted kindness.  It was an act of kindness, as
  1. Guy A did try to keep Guy B as dry as he could;
  2. Guy A didn't immediately go to Guy B; he saw him, but then did a sort of pump-fake as he took a step further and then changed his mind and went back to Guy B to help --- he conciously thought for a second about what he was about to do, and it was obviously unexpected.
But I don't know if Guy A knew Guy B beforehand or not.  I don't think so.  And it makes this unusual (for me) story all that much nicer to remember.

After that, I kept thinking of the phrase "Pay It Forward" ...

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