Sometimes we don’t need to seek out opportunities to make others happy…they find us.
Last week, on my way home from picking up my youngest daughter from her day camp, an old woman, whom I only found out today is 94, was standing by my apartment building in the scorching sun looking extremely upset. It was the middle of the day, and she was standing in the blazing heat trying to catch a cab, but she couldn’t get their attention. She lived in the neighborhood, but wasn’t able to walk the three blocks to her apartment.
I would have driven her home, but I didn’t have my car accessible. I called her a cab from GetTaxi, and waited with her until the cab came. She took a shine to my daughter, and we told her we would visit her (she lives very close to our synagogue). In that time, I discovered that Anna lived alone, spoke five languages, and used to be a pediatrician. I must have not taken down her number correctly, and wasn’t able to reach her.
Today, as I was walking to pick up my daughter again, I found Anna standing outside my apartment building. When she saw me, she had tears in her eyes, and wanted to thank me for paying for her cab last week. She had taken a cab to MY apartment just to find me to say thank-you. She cried some more when I told her I didn’t want her to pay me back, and that I hoped we could visit her.
Anna said she wasn’t religious, but believed in God, and believed that God was watching out for her that day that I helped her, and she had to come to find me. I had been hoping to find an elderly person in the neighborhood for me and my girls to visit, and it was amazing that she showed up today so I could get her correct contact information.
There is so much sadness and craziness in this world, but transforming someone’s day in a second is the only way to make sense out of madness, and more important than the actual help you give is the joy you get back at being able to show someone that you care and they are not alone. If we step out of our own universe, and open our eyes, the opportunities to make changes find us.