“Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not need to be cruel in order to be tough.”
– Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Hello from the Big Apple!
So, I’m actually writing this from the train – I feel so very urban! As you may or may not know – I work from home in the beautiful state of Colorado. My employer is located in Manhattan and I was lucky enough to fly out and spend a few days meeting everyone and seeing the sights. Right before I left, I was telling my boss I was a bit nervous about getting from Newark all the way to Times Square – and he laughed a bit and said “Just ask anyone on the street for help – New Yorkers LOVE that. Ya know – being so nice and all.”
Now I don’t necessarily believe the hype that New Yorkers are mean. I mostly believe they are busy people that don’t have the time for lost Coloradans wandering their streets asking for random directions. None the less, I figured I’d been building up my kindness karma for well on 6 months now and should be good. Even though, I made sure to start my trip on the right note. On the plane ride out, I willingly switched seats so the very adorable little girl in the middle seat could sit next to her Mom – even though it meant I had to give up my aisle seat. Well worth the sacrifice for a little extra good will, right?
So, I landed and began the journey from Newark to Times Square. I was determined to make it there without incident AND without looking like a complete tourist tool. I walked quickly, kept my head down and generally avoided eye contact. I pulled my suitcase behind me with authority and whipped through the crowds at lightening speeds. I was killing this whole NYC thing.
Then – I couldn’t find my hotel. I wandered a bit – not wanting to be THAT person who holds a map and stares dumbfounded around the big city – but still no success.
It was my moment of truth. I needed help – it was freezing – I forgot my gloves and I just wanted to get inside and crash. I looked around for a kind face – but everyone was rushing by at warp speed and judiciously avoiding eye contact.
Despite the lack of opportunity I was GOING to ask for help! I walked up to a nearby gentleman, smiled big and asked if he could help me find my hotel. And guess what? He didn’t ignore me, flip me off or call me a colorful name. He simply smiled back and told me where I needed to go.
Simple. No big deal.
I came, I saw, I conquered with kindness.