New York City isn’t often viewed as a small town. But it’s a collection of neighborhoods and often feels like a day in a small town. One snowy day in particular reminded me how special cities are. Although I’m biased to New York City, no matter where you live perhaps you’ve had similar experiences. Tell us about them in the comment section below.
Paying it Forward
The other morning after 20 minutes of waving down any vehicle possible, what must have been the only cab stopped for me. I noticed a woman rushing towards the corner. I asked where she was going and although she was going several avenues over and 10 blocks further south I said, “let’s share this cab” Surprised but happy for the warmth and shelter she hopped in with me.
Once we were warm enough to speak she said, “I’m a teacher and my kids are waiting for me. So thanks a lot”. I asked the cab driver to drop her off first and told her not to worry about the fare to which she replied “I promise to pay it forward”.
This woman pays it forward everyday by educating our children. But New Yorkers take their Cab Karma seriously, so I knew from where she was coming.
Community Means Sometimes Going Out of Your Way
Later that day as I was trudging home, I saw a young woman with a baby carriage and a toddler at her side stood wondering how she would get across the street. The piles of snow at the curbs made it impossible for her to cross with such precious cargo. As I began to cross the street to help her I saw one of the construction workers (ubiquitous at this point in NYC) cross the avenue as well. We helped her over the piles of snow with ease.
A Day in a Small Town & Forgiveness is Easy
He & I looked at each other with a moment of recognition before we laughed. He reminded me that I’d stuck my tongue out at him last summer. I sheepishly explained that the construction had been going on forever and hoped he didn’t take my childish response personally. As we got to the other side of the street he said, “Nah, we’ve been here for a long time. We’re an unwanted tenant, I suppose” He laughed at his own joke. He shrugged his shoulders and said “I hope that woman was able to get to her house OK”. I smiled. Unwanted tenant? Perhaps. But he’d become part of the fabric of our neighborhood and he’d grown to care about this small town and its inhabitants.