“Even when you’re tired, sweaty, and annoyed, be open to the sweetness of others.
It’s hot today in NY. I met a friend for brunch, then went to get my new glasses. All done and headed back on the train. I wanted to snap at a couple of people for their rude behavior, but wisely just sat quietly.
An old black gentleman enters the far end of the car, greets us, and starts singing. I don’t turn my head, but I feel a smile in my soul. There are many who beg for money, but the individuals who offer music in hopes of a small monetary reward make me happy.
He started his second song and my heart did a happy dance. ‘Lean on me, when you’re not strong. I’ll be your friend….’ I LOVE that song!
Without thinking, I quietly sang a little harmony to his strong melody. I had already decided he could have the $5 bill in my purse.
I was moved by his dignity and grace, even though you could tell by his tall, lanky frame that the storms of life had left him standing, but bent from the exertion of living.
I rolled the bill tightly and waited for him to make his way to me. No one was making any moves to give him coins or reach for their wallet. No one was turned towards him listening, at least from my end.
Somehow, he heard my harmony floating in the air and stopped, ‘Folks, I found my soprano!’ I smiled and began singing harmony in earnest as he finished. He moved towards me and I dropped in my rolled bill.
He then stood beside me, ‘I’m going to give you another chance!’ I waited, wondering if I would know the song. He smiled at me, ‘I’ll make it easy on you.’ His 70-plus years had made him intuitive, and I smiled as his first note came out.
Our voices filled the car, him on melody, me on harmony, ‘Amazing grace, how sweet the sound….’ Wallets came out, and many bills, not coins, were added to his total. All of us were hot, tired, and just trying to get somewhere until he stepped on the train.
Some didn’t like him singing, some just ignored him. But when he sang a song my heart needed, I responded and he came and invited me to join him. I accepted, in spite of being a sweaty, irritated mess. Magic happened to all of us!”
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