This is a lengthier post than normal, so hunker down. I promise it’s worth the read. And I am a little nervous to put it all out there like this, but here I go…
I’m going to start this story by saying, I love my dog more than you can imagine and wouldn’t trade her for anything.
But she is scared of absolutely everything you can think of…things that move suddenly, tall things, people walking, inanimate objects, the slightest of noises, and…well, you get the picture. So as I am sure you can imagine, it can be tough to take her for walks and potty breaks near our busy apartment building (with plenty of foot traffic and a block’s worth of construction at the moment).
Now that you know that, you’ll better understand this story…
The other day, I took Luna out for a quick walk and the construction was pretty heavy that day. She was completely panicked the entire time, and I was trying to get through it as fast as possible so she would go to the bathroom and we could go back inside. She finished up her business and we started walking around the corner. Only there were 3 large construction signs blocking our path partially. Luna started going through, so I followed.
There was a group of people who walked past the opposite corner at the very same time and it freaked Luna out. She pulled on the leash; we knocked over one of the very heavy metal construction signs (onto my leg and foot); and she continued past the sidewalk into the street, as freaked out as I had ever seen her.
I almost fell over when the sign hit me but managed to keep on my feet when I saw that Luna was in the street. I quickly scooped her up, which is not an easy feat for my less-than-strong arms and a 50+ pound dog. As I picked her up, I felt like I was about to loose it. The fact that she had made her way onto a very busy street in seconds made my heart sink. It is one of my worst fears as a dog owner.
To make matters worse, the people who had (accidentally) startled Luna in the first place were just staring at me. No offer to help, in a city that is known for it’s friendliness. And as I put her down, I counted at least 3 or 4 more people just staring at me who walked right past, as I struggled to put the construction sign back up while still holding onto Luna.
Then a woman came up from behind me, who was carrying bags of groceries in each hand and asked if I needed any help. I gratefully said yes and she put all four of her bags down, along with her purse. She put the sign back up and said a few kind words before grabbing her belongings and continuing on. I was almost in tears as I said thank you several times, which may sound extreme, but it’s the truth.
A perfect stranger had just helped me get through a small, but difficult, moment while other passers-by just stood there and watched.
As I brought my dog back inside and went up the elevator, I cried.
I was so taken by what that woman had done for me – a simple gesture that made a huge difference in that moment – and from someone who (literally) had her hands full already. She stopped her day in it’s tracks to help me, a person whom she had never laid eyes on before.
We are all busy creatures. We have baggage, we have problems, we have a to-do list that never seems to end.
It is easy to get caught up in ourselves.
And when that happens, we stop seeing the bigger picture.
So here it is. There will always be someone who is busier, someone who is going through a more trying time, someone who has a more difficult path to blaze.
Which is why I am recommending that WE (yes, all of us) take 10 minutes out of our busy schedule, and occasionally troubled day, to help make another person’s morning / afternoon/ evening a little bit better than it started.
As creatives, we are naturally compassionate, but like I said before, it is easy to get caught up in your own stuff.
So let’s remember today, and everyday after, that we are all in this together and the slightest gesture of kindness can change the course of someone’s entire day.
It doesn’t have to be big. It just has to be done.
Thanks for reading this far. I hope it sparks something in you, as the stranger on the street sparked something in me.