This is my own experience and I wish to share it to you all. I hope that somehow you will get something valuable from it.
This happened the other night. I was going home from a very very stressful meeting , and when I say very stressful, It's the kind that gets you crying. I walked down the subway station with my head somewhere else. My mind was still very busy replaying what was said and how bad it really felt to me.
Like a zombie, I reached down my bag and got my MetroCard, proceeded to swipe it and the machine showed "Insufficient fair". The beep from the machine snapped me out of my gloomy thoughts As if my day wasn't going bad enough, right? I said to myself, really?! I'm still not done dealing with annoyances? Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!! It shouldn't really be a big issue because I can just press a few buttons, walk a few steps from the vending machine to refill my card. But I guess when you are really stressed, you become more sensitive to even the tiniest annoyance.
So I turned to refill my MetroCard and before I could even make one step, a black guy shouted at me. He was on the stairs leading up to the street exit. He was shouting at me in the middle of the stairs. His body is turned towards the street exit and his head looking back to me. I looked at him and tried to figure out what he was telling me. I didn't hear him right away. He was shouting, "Do you want me to swipe you in? showing his MetroCard to me from a distance. I said, "really?" He came down the stairs and swiped his Metrocard for me and in I went to the terminal. I said, "GOD BLESS YOU!"!
He left just like that. He didn't want anything but to help someone who he didn't even know. While I was waiting for my train, my gloomy thoughts were suddenly replaced by gratitude. It's as if this man was brought in my way to make me feel better, to make me feel that everything is gonna be alright. I smiled an inch, still recalling what just happened. His kindness was just what I needed at that moment.
The black man in the subway....he's not the homeless guy who begs for money. He's not the black guy who's a gang member. He's not the black guy from the block who sells drugs. He's the black guy who gave me a free pass to the train without any strings attached. He's not what the TV portrays him to be. The TV always gives us images of black people being poor, ill-mannered, obnoxious, a dangerous gang member, etc. Stereotyping is stupid. It's time that we raise each other up and help each other and be kinder.
We all are hurting in this world at one point or another. Kindness is so important especially when things seems to be falling apart. Look at what's happening in the world now. We need more kind people around like that black man in the subway . I hope the little ripple he started will go far and wide to touch those who just need a little kindness in their life. I may never see him again but I bless his heart. May his kindness come back to him a hundredfold. I will never forget how he has lifted up my spirit at that moment when I was down and out.
This metrocard should instead say, "BE KIND NYC"
I hope today you can start a ripple of kindness too.