The Kindness of Strangers

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“She walked briskly out of the supermarket.  The aisles of food and the smell of fresh fruit and vegetables had made her light-headed. She had spent two dollars on a dozen eggs and some bread and only had ten dollars left in her purse – in quarters.  She passed by a man who was standing near a bench by the store entrance. He was tall, thin, about thirty-something, dressed in clean jeans and a t-shirt, and was African American. He was asking people for money to buy some food. She glanced at him, mumbled “Sorry, I can’t” and continued walking.

Then, something in her sub-conscious made her stop and turn around. He was sitting on the bench, his head in his hands. She noticed something that she recognized only too well.  Despair.  She reached into her purse and counted five dollars worth of quarters (half of what she had left to last her for the next two weeks) and she walked back to the man and said “Excuse me sir, but here is five dollars in quarters. I hope this will help tide you over.”  He looked at her.  She could hear the intake of his breath.  His eyes were clear and intelligent.  He stood up and thanked her, very earnestly and with respect.  Their eyes met and he understood.  They were the same.”

― from  the vignette “The Kindness of Strangers” – pp. 52-53 of Casualties of the (Recession) Depression, by Heather Joan Marinos

(Copyright © 2013 by Heather Joan Marinos – All Rights Reserved)

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From Aug 14-Sept 7, purchase a copy of  Casualties of the (Recession) Depression, and for every $20 book purchased directly from my website, I will be donating $5 from the proceeds of each book sale to either: Feeding America (US), Action Against Hunger (Canada), or The World Food Programme (Global). The purchaser chooses one of the three.

Image (of hands) via dosomething.org.

Neighborly Love

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Just yesterday, our property was brutally ransacked by thieves.  A lot of valuables, sentimental and personal items were taken.  There was considerable damage.

We are beyond shocked, distressed, and disgusted.

But, this travesty has one silver lining.  Our neighbors.  People we’ve never actually met.  One-by-one, they have been calling us long-distance, telling us  what had transpired, calming us, and kindly informing us that they will help to secure the property and help us ensure that the perpetrators will never set foot in our neck of the woods ever again.

This gives fresh meaning to the concept of “Love thy neighbor.”

To these wonderful men and women, my husband and I send you our heartfelt thanks.

My first reaction, in the wake of this tragedy, was to cancel our family Easter celebration. But, if I did that, the bad guys will have won. 

Instead, I will focus on the blessings of this season ― my wonderful husband, my pets, friends and family, and ― my neighbors, who are simply awesome.

― Heather

Photo via unitedwaycfc.org.