August 22, 2011

Acts of kindness

Returning to work after this intense period of activity and grief following the death of my husband's dad I stepped onto the tube at Seven Sisters and felt sadness rush through me. I covered my face with my hands and cried. As the train pulled into Victoria I was momentarily engulfed in a soft, warm and perfumed embrace. When I looked up I saw a woman in a fur coat swish through the closing doors. An angel of compassion. I will never forget that moment.

Artist Michael Landy invites tube passengers to send in their stories of compassion and generosity that they've seen or experienced on the tube in London. i read every single one.

(i had similar experiences my first time in New York. i was traveling alone and unfamiliar with the labyrinthine subway system. once i was looking at a station map, trying to figure out the best route to my destination, when a businessman approached me, saying, "hey, where do you want to go?" i told him, and he told me exactly how to get there, transfers and all. another time, i was in a crowded subway car, and a man stood up to offer me his seat. i didn't need it, but i took it to honor his gesture.)

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