Human kindness

Walking into work this week, as always, I was absorbed in the day ahead, the meetings, the deadlines …. you know what it’s like. I was crossing Queen Street when I was jolted out of my reverie by a woman standing in the centre lane, obstructing traffic, her arms extended out to her sides like the crucified Christ.

“What was she doing?” I thought. “Another crazy.” I concluded.

I was wrong.

Cars steered around her keeping clear of the middle lane.

After I crossed the road and began heading in the direction of the traffic, I saw lying on the road, a cyclist. I think he was a cyclist.

But what caught my attention were the 5–6 people caring for him. He had a backpack supporting his head. A woman was kneeling over him. She was smiling, her teeth were visible. I could see she was trying to engage the fallen man.

A man was standing among them on his phone. Others were looking out for help to arrive.

This is what I gleaned as I walked past. But it started me thinking.

What motivates us to step out of our routine and help others in need?

We obviously have a helpful streak, a dash of goodness, a touch of kindness. When people put others before themselves, we see humanity shine.

But where do we keep this good side of us? Hold that thought.

Christians everywhere are now observing Lent. It is a period of self-examination and reflection leading up to Easter.

I guess the Western world has had its own “Lent” during the first 100 days of the Trump presidency. We have all paused to think about the world and its direction. We have looked back on the time when protocols were observed, principles upheld, rights respected and the truth meant something.

As I passed this scene in Queen Street, I was touched by the kindness and consideration of the helpers. Now more than ever, the world needs to see goodness and kindness, to see people who are prepared to put others before themselves. Perhaps sometimes we need to stand in the middle of the road, with our arms outstretched to protect the fallen cyclist.

With the world in turmoil we need to see this goodness more often.

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