Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Little Something

When I'm feeling particularly glum about about mankind, pessimistic about civilization, and worn out by man's inhumanity to man, beast, and all good sense, I like to remember a little note I saw once.

It was not even a note to me.  Had nothing to do with me, in fact.  I just happened to see it.  I was living in an old apartment building with long halls.  On my floor there lived a very old and very small woman.  She used a walker to get about, she moved very slowly, and was a good, quiet neighbor.  She never said much, but we smiled to each other as I passed by, every now and then.

One day I noticed that something was resting at the foot of her door.  Curious, I stopped, bent over, and squinted in the dim light of the hall.  It was a generous slice of blueberry pound cake, pale yellow with dark blue berries.  Wrapped in plastic, it looked delicious.  Taped to the plastic was a small, handwritten note.

"A little something to go with your tea," it said.

That's all.  Nothing else.  Just a little something.  Just a small act of kindness, a gentle moment of surprise.

Later, I would picture the little woman, nibbling at the cake, along side of her teacup, smiling and thinking of her friend, the baker.

When things are looking really bad for our species, I like to think that there are little acts of goodness happening quietly all around us, not asking for attention, just one person being kind to another.  I like to think that.

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