Saturday, January 2, 2010

Breaking stereotypes

It is natural to feel comfy within one's circle of friends with similar likes, cultures, traditions, age brackets, etc... but the risk is one becomes insular and biased, if not careful. SO, this writer takes extra careful to notice the many little good things " others " do to break certain stereotypes which society imposes on him from time to time.

On two successive remarkable days, the Universe, so to speak offered him a gift of knowing the soul of erstwhile strangers for a brief moment of time, where the clock stopped ticking... All of you, dear readers, who have experienced this know what he means...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at a staff meeting: I came early...It was freezing cold and most of my colleagues were late... but a young Korean intern was early enough... She greeted me with a sweet, sweet smile... and asked me gently in a soft voice if I wanted Oolong tea. I hesitated for a moment, not sure if she meant it for me. after realizing it was really so, I thankfully said yes. The tea was super-delicious, not because of the brand, but because of her heartfelt kindness and generosity which blew away the winter chill in my marrows.. After the meeting, our Project Director from Hong Kong, hugged me after a long respite from work to show she still welcomed me after all this time of absence. It is nice to be valued as a human being, not as a salary item in the budget spread sheet.

Thursday, December 10, 2009:I flagged a cab as I was running late for my meeting with the boss at the Central Office. I normally took the buses but they were nowhere to be found... Here came a Nigerian immigrant cab driver who did not switch on his meter. I reminded him to do so. He remarked, " Why, don't you want a ride for free? " He proceeded to switch the meter on, when I realized I did not have cash. So,I told him my dilemma. His credit card machine was not functioning either. He replied, " I understand, brother. I've been through tough times, myself. It's free. I don't know why I decided to pass this way, but something in me told me to do so. " He, then, stopped the car at the island halfway through the boulevard so I could save half the cross-walk! " We shook hands.... and addressed him, " St. Charles... " Bless him. I will never forget him for the rest of my life.

Come lunch time, I went to my favorite lunch place and found myself a quarter short for a sandwich. The Latina lady behind graciously offered one for me!

Love, sacrificial love, is well and alive in New York City. Fear not!!! In fact, it's everywhere... seek and you shall find !!!

Have a Blessed New Year.