“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.” ― Henry James
I was working in Manhattan for three years and had become a permanent fixture in Corporate America. My office was located just a few blocks from Grand Central Station, and my daily routine was learning the art of swerving in and out of the corporate crowds.
One Thursday afternoon in the fall of 1996 I was invited by former co-workers for some cocktails and dinner. Before the days of debit cards I’d usually withdraw anywhere from sixty to eighty dollars to cover the cost of the cab and dinner. My taste in fine cuisine became more exquisite however, and my frequent spending didn’t leave much funds for the week.
At 5:30pm I withdrew one hundred twenty dollars from my bank account and proceeded through the arch-shaped walkway of the MetLife building in Midtown. Instead of being my responsible self and putting the cash in the usual compartment in my wallet, I quickly shoved the cash into my coat pocket. I was already late and frazzled by the hundreds of fellow business people running alongside me to catch the subway.
I was about to emerge from the walkway when a sudden gust of wind rushed through the mini-tunnel and almost knocked me to the ground. The six twenty-dollar bills had blown into the air like a whirlwind. I screamed, and probably uttered a few words of profanity. Out of nowhere six different gentlemen—five businessmen and one construction worker—immediately ran to my aid and were able to snatch each twenty dollar bill with ease.
While I was thankful my money wasn’t whisked away into oblivion, I was unsure if my heroes would do the “right thing.” Call it cynicism; I called it realism.
Not a few seconds went by before each bill was handed over to me with a smile.
“You should be more careful, miss.” The construction worker said, as he disappeared into the mass.
I stood there for a moment, in complete awe of what just occurred. I was so deeply touched by these acts of kindness that in the weeks following I began to wonder how I could show kindness to others.
In my remaining years of working in Manhattan I was lucky enough to catch a few dollars that had fallen from pockets and purses; each time thinking about those six kind gentlemen. I’ll never forget them.
Here’s a video that shows how kindness can be contagious. Watch out…It can happen to anyone, anywhere. 🙂
How has kindness been contagious in your life? Share your comments below.
About Michelle Cruz Rosado
Michelle Cruz Rosado is a professional speaker and bestselling co-author of "Pursuing Your Destiny: How to Overcome Adversity and Achieve Your Dreams." Follow Michelle for inspiring messages and quotes.