Monday, June 13, 2011

A Small Gesture

Nice things people do... and a blog post here reminded me of another unusual act by a random big-city person, that time in Paris (yes, indeed, France).

I must have been coming back from classes at University, else why would I have been trudging through the streets at rush hour, with a heavy book bag and dressed in nice clothes?

It was in my own neighborhood, so I tended to navigate by radar, and I stepped off the curb to cross a busy street... Out went an arm and blocked my way.

Just in time to prevent me from being run over by one of the ever-speeding Parisian drivers.

I don't remember who the fellow pedestrian was. A man, anonymous -- even in my own neighborhood I hardly knew anyone. There were just too many people, and too many people moving in and out, even stores changing owners much too often. A man who was paying attention and who cared enough to stop me from becoming just another casualty.

There were a lot of us waiting at the light to cross the street. A lot of people surrounding me, but only one noticed my absentmindedness. Whoever you were, you haven't been forgotten, and your kindness has been retold now and again as proof that people are essentially nice and caring.

It's not like I was a little girl, or a stunning beauty, or remarkable in any way. No, we just happened to be side-by-side. It was a small gesture on his part. He may not remember that day, but I do. Very much so.

And when I can, I try to pass it on. Because it was such a nice thing to do.