LAST WEEK HAD A FEW harrowing moments. At work, I was assigned a task that typically wouldn't be all the difficult but because of the time frame, it was highly stressful. For the sake of impending boredom, I won't go into all the details of the project except to say that in order to complete it, I had to make several trips to the grocery stores in the area, looking for and purchasing certain products.
Friday was crunch time. Entering the parking lot of a store I was hoping would have what I needed, I found a parking spot and shut off the engine. Making my way to the entrance in a distracted daze, I didn't mentally calculate the height of the curb.
Down I went. It was over before it happened and I'm still having flashbacks of the pavement coming closer to me at warp speed. I laid there for a second, wrestling with my stupidity and clumsiness, too mentally exhausted to move. I could feel pain in my hand and elbow which heroically took the brunt of my fall. I hoisted my 50-something body vertical while a young mother with kids in tow asked, "Are you okay?" in a worried voice.
No. I'm totally stressed out because I've got this stupid project I need to get done and I hate doing things at the last minute especially when the project wouldn't be that big of a deal if I'd of had more time. I didn't say this. She was a mom with kids. She knows stress. She didn't need mine.
"Just a little humiliated," I told her, minimizing the pain in my right hand. "Thank you for asking. I'll be okay."
She walked away and a 50 something woman who looked like a kindred spirit walked up to me. "You know, I did the same thing in Seattle last week."
"Really?" I said, flexing and shaking my hand.
"Yeah. I was just walking along and didn't see the curb. You should get your hand looked at."
"I will, thanks. Were you okay? Did your fall injury you at all?" This woman was making me feel better by sharing her similar foible, bless her heart. How could I not return concern for her?
"I was okay but I tell you it's so easy to misjudge your steps and before you know it, down you go."
"I know. It's humiliating, isn't it? Thank you for sharing this. It really makes me feel better."
"You're welcome. And be sure to get that hand looked at."
She walked away and I gathered my scattered wits and carried out my task, eventually collecting the supplies needed for the project.
I can't help but think of the nice people who offered help during my little crisis--generous, kindhearted everyday people.
Stories like this rarely make the evening news. Instead we hear that Trayvon Martin's death will go unpunished which, right or wrong, gets people riled up. Every stinking day, the negative encroaches on our sunny skies like a black cloud making it way too easy to forget that humanity is by and large a decent, caring, compassionate entity, willing to offer assistance in time of need.
Next time my younger generation laments the plight of our world, I'm going to remind them of the kindness of strangers.