The Kindness of Strangers – Day 19
by Jim Herbert
Thank you to a Stranger #19
Yesterday in the late afternoon I saw a tiny man come through the revolving door. His body was frail and he shuffled his feet slowly using the aid of a cane to fumble his way through the circular doorway. I noticed him stop to pause after he navigated what would be routine for most of us but was a skirmish for him. I walked across the lobby through a crowd to greet him.
When I approached him I noticed he wasn’t an “old” man. In fact I doubt he was any older than me. His cheeks were sunken in and his jaw had a sharp cut to it. I could tell that his physical body had been through a great deal of challenges either recently or perhaps even for many years. It was his eyes that I noticed the most though. They were a piercing dark brown and they were alive with a sense of life force like few that I have seen before in this lifetime.
I asked him if he would like to go inside the dining room and sit someplace comfortable to have lunch. His reply was, “I would like that very much…”
I held one of his arms as we walked across the dining room so he could be seated on one of the quite banquettes on the west wall. The whole process might have taken a full five minutes. I’m not sure. When we got to the table he took his arm bag off his shoulder, slowly removed his coat and gingerly sat down. I could tell that the whole process was a huge energy expense for him but his eyes never stopped glistening and the wry smile never left his face.
After he sat he said, “Thank you for the great service. I really appreciate your help.” I asked him his name and he said it was John. He then looked at my left wrist and said, “What is the significance of the blue wrist band?”
I almost always wear my Infinite Possibilities wrist bracelet. It gives me a sense of constant connection to the community of loving souls out there that inspire me everyday.
I told John a little bit about Mike Dooley’s teachings and the community of people and the work that Christiana and I have been doing. The entire time John had his piecing eyes looking up and fixed on me. In my entire life I’m not sure I’ve ever felt someone more focused on what I was saying.
When I was done he said, “You’re very motivational. I can see why you would be a great speaker.” I thanked him and just as I was about to walk away from the table I got a message from afar that told me to take off the bracelet and give it to John, so I did. His wry smile got bigger and he put the bracelet on his right wrist immediately. My heart grew so full I began to tear up.
About an hour later, before I left for the day I went over to John and said goodbye and gave him my contact email and the TUT website address. I’m not sure if I’ll ever hear from him again but he passed in and out of my life leaving a powerful message.
So thank you John for reminding me that the measure of a person’s “health” is never to be made based on the status of their body, but rather the fullness of their heart and the power of their mind…
I wanted to write my whole life. By age 45 it had amounted to nothing more than a storage locker of half full journals and a lot of unfulfilled dreams. Then Paris in the fall of 2011 happened. It was the catalyst I needed to consistently blog. At first I had a hard time hitting the publish button, but now two blog sites and over 300 posts later I’m hitting my stride. I’m also a budding speech writer. I’ve recently been heavily involved in the Chicago Storytelling scene and have also won the Chicago Toastmasters Area 66 International Speech Contest. Website: http://www.emergingintojoy.com.