Live like a local.
There are two types of contagions, but only one we seem to be focused on right now: a disease spread by close contact. I’m not going to write about that. We’re living it, no need to read about it too.
I ask you to consider the other. The one we have a more profound ability to control: The spread of a behavior pattern, attitude, or emotion from person to person or group to group through suggestion, propaganda, rumor, or imitation. A harmful, corrupting influence.
We’ve all been keeping our social distance and I am no different. I am in the middle of a move where our new flat is 6 miles from our temporary one and we often need to go between. (If you don’t know, all of our furniture, kitchen supplies, general possessions are in transit from the US to the UK and we do not know when we’ll actually get them so we can move in) I have been needing to go to the new flat because I accept delivery of sorts. I try to walk or bike one way and take the tube the other. Usually I take the Tube late AM when often I am the sole rider. But last night I needed to take it home in the early evening. I’ve gotten in the habit of keeping power bars with me because it’s often long hours between meals and I’m stuck in a flat with no way to prepare or buy food.
So, I’m on a more crowded tube car then I’ve been accustom lately. There are only 8 of us in the entire car, all positioned with the correct distance so we wouldn’t breathe on one another let alone share a smile. Eyes down and keeping our hands in our pockets seems the best way to guarantee we don’t touch a handrail or pole someone else may have contaminated. Then the doors open, people look up then quickly down, and everyone noticeably shifts uncomfortably in their space. This man’s face was weathered and his exhaustion could be felt as he entered and sat minding his own business. It was clear he was aware of everyone's disgust and judgement. He was directly on the opposite end of the car from where I was leaning. Everyone now has their eyes down, but I can’t keep my eyes off him! His holey shoes, ratty clothing and filthy hands were unquestioningly heart wrenching. He catches my eyes burning a hole in his psyche, and I immediately fidget. I feel the protein bar in my hand. I pull it out and gesture to him that he’s welcome to it. All without saying a word we moved towards one another shrinking our required 2 meter distancing. We meet in the middle of the car and I hand over the bar. Simultaneously, everyone starts to move. Some are digging in pockets of their too tight of pants trying to retrieve a coin, others searching in their purses or their pockets for that something. They all, there wasn’t a person that didn’t, find something to give that man: money, food and genuine compassion. It was all done in silence and it sent chills down my spine. It was the most shockingly beautiful scene I could have witnessed. He was overwhelmingly moved, but not more than I was.
Kindness is contagious! Along with many other nasty things! I WILL hold-on to what is admirable in this world.
4/1/2020 08:40:35 am
4/2/2020 07:45:51 am
Love this story and love your writing! We are isolated, physically, but our hearts are not! I miss you. Be safe and stay😘
4/15/2020 06:53:26 am
You started a chain of goodness. It often takes one person to model a behavior before others join. Not surprised that you are that person!
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Don't take life so seriously.
I'm Jody. I love to travel. I love to take pictures. I love to meet people and find interesting places. I also love to write about and post pix of what I've found. But, I've been told that I write like I talk - in streams of consciousness. So, if proper grammar and well composed sentences are a must for you - my posts will make you crazy. If you want to follow my journey as I learn about really cool places and offer some great tips about living abroad, read on!
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