Oh, this poor guy.
Here it is October, but just the other day it was still steamy weather here in New York City, and the subways were gruesome. Take the man waiting for the train standing next to me, for example: coat off, shirt glued to his back, handkerchief out and mopping his brow.
Then I got a closer look. Uh-oh. I tapped him on the shoulder.
“Um, about your new pants.”
He turns around – obviously he’s wondering how I’m privy to his purchasing habits. Problem is, the new pants have a tag on them – and not just a little one hanging from a belt loop that says $49.95. It’s the sticky kind that goes on for about two feet, right down your leg, and tells your waist size and everything. I help him tear off the strip and he says to me – wait for it! – “You’ve just done your good deed for the day.”
Well, now there’s nothing for it but to whip my copy of ONE GOOD DEED out of my bag.
“Funny you should mention that,” I said, and explained the books to him, and that I was on my way to a speaking engagement.
So we started up a conversation. “I’m a Buddhist,” he told me, “so I try to do a good deed every day, though I’m not always successful.” He looked sad. By now we’re standing together on the train, holding on to the same pole, and talking about life, good deeds, and doing the best we can do. It’s lovely, it’s unexpected, and believe it or not, everybody else hanging on to the pole (it’s rush hour) is listening in, and smiling. At last his stop comes, and he backs out of the subway car, his palms together, fingertips pointing upwards in the universal “Namaste” gesture.
Call me corny, but my heart is full. Sometimes it takes so little.