Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Returning Kindness

Last week, while on the train ride home, a random stranger handed me a packet of tissues. The blue and white plastic crinkled in my fingers as I thanked her. I usually keep some in my purse, but had, embarrassingly, gone through all of mine.

A few days later, at the same station, I saw a young girl step onto the train. With her backpack slung over one shoulder and her hoodie up, she moved into the corner, then sank down to the shoeprint-dirty floor. Hunched over her phone, she stared blankly at the paragraphs of bubbled text messages. Her nose blushed and her cheeks shone, covered with tears.

I told her to keep them, like the woman had told me.

We all crumble sometimes. Don't close your eyes. Pay it forward.