This is the name of a poem I started after 9-11 but never finished. What bothered me most that day was the knowledge that things would never be the same, that no good would come of it. Instead, more violence, a war on terrorism, a war on war.
So I thought it made sense to counter that rise of anger and hate with simple acts of being good – smiling more to strangers, for example. It didn’t pan out as a poem, but I held on to the title.
Yesterday as I was walking to the bus, a woman cut me off at the intersection. She could have braked to let me pass and it would have cost her only a couple seconds, but instead she made me stop so she could hurry around the corner.
I’ve probably done the same to others while driving, prompting them to recall unfinished poems they wrote themselves after 9-11 (and to write similarly smug posts about it), but it reminded me of the power of doing simple, kind things – like letting someone go in front of you at an intersection, or waiting to get off last, on the elevator.
Humanity is found in these small, easy moments as much as it is in fire fighting or going to combat to defend your people. It’s found wherever you are, whenever you have a choice.