Toronto is delightful. But what is it about the day to day life here that makes it so joyful?
Its the little things.
Letting passengers de-board the subway car before hopping on.
Yielding to the person beside you so they can hop onto the escalator before you.
Holding the door open for the person right behind you as you walk through.
A little compliment.
Turning your phone off at the movie theatre.
Being comfortable with your wallet or phone in your back pocket.
Leaving your jacket on a chair at an event as you meet people around the room and knowing that your jacket is gonna be fine.
Yesterday I was at the Apple Store in the Eaton Center and noticed someone watching highlights of the exciting Vikings-Saints game. I joined in. We watched and talked about the game for the next several minutes. We didn’t even exchange names. Two guys enjoying a game. No big deal. Just another little thing.
Many Torontonians rely on public transportation to commute to and from work. During the hustle and bustle of rush hour with tens of thousands of people scrambling to make it to their first meeting of the day, it’s still humane. The little things aren’t sacrificed. Maybe more groggy. Less chatty. Pre-caffeinated. Sure. But still polite. The little things don’t slip up.
The little things make all the difference.
It’s the little things that make the day-to-day experiences seem much more human, where you feel that people actually see you.
All of these convey:
I see you.
I care about you.
I know you’d do the same for me.
Your loss is not my gain.
Have a nice day!
Several years ago, I was fortunate to attend a talk by Archbishop Desmond Tutu about the African concept of Ubuntu in Minneapolis. “Ubuntu, ” he said with a radiant smile on his face. “A person is a person through other persons.” That’s Ubuntu.
“I can’t be all that I can be, until you are all that you can be. My humanity is therefore bound up in yours for we can only be human together.”
President Clinton in the 1990s summed Ubuntu up as “I am because you are.”
It’s the little things.