Thanking me, she picked up her valuables and left – leaving me with the feeling that I was the one out of touch.
As the late cultural chef, Anthony Bourdain, advised, “Don’t be afraid of random acts of hospitality… be open, without judgement or fear. Walk in their shoes, or at least eat their food. It’s a plus for everybody.”
Images of people here say it all: the walking of pets – with water bowls set out like sparkling diamonds in the sun, the smiling faces over cups of coffee, the joggers and bicyclists breezing on through, moms and dads walking strollers… a positive vibe … a more peaceful, inclusive, welcoming world.
I asked him what it feels like to be “world-class.” But, I could tell he was uncomfortable with comparisons.
You’d think – since we’re older every day – with age comes wisdom. Sadly, this isn’t always true. Yet, we can often learn from each other’s experiences. So, let me be the bad example: I learn the hard way.
He was the gardener of our lives – pruning here; nurturing there. When he died, it left a huge hole in our lives, where a great … not perfect … man once lived.
I was reminded how we, on a good day, can replace fear with love; cynicism with hope; and tolerance with acceptance.
We know that we all began as newcomers and there’s no seniority with citizenship. There are short-term costs. But, how many would trade places with people having no future?
As imperfect human beings, we’re the first to ask for forgiveness and understanding; but, are we the first to extend it?
Quickly, I make a round of phone calls to friends – no one’s seen her. Then, after getting another cryptic call from her cell phone, that ends abruptly, I figure this is either a cruel joke or something worse. Having had enough, I call 911. A patrol car arrives soon after.