Be the Cause

Service Celebration — 4th July 2005, Houston

We asked random folks at the park to share an act of kindness. Here are some of the responses….

It’s 4th July. It’s picnic in the park. Families and children. Everyone’s having a good time until a child falls down and gets injured. It’s a deep gash and the mother is in panic. In rushes Shannon, who with her husband, Mike, is waiting for the fireworks to begin. She has her medical first-aid kit handy, just for emergencies like this, and this is not the first time. The child needs sutures, but they stop the bleeding – a first step in any life saving act. Kindness doesn’t have to begin at 9. – per Mike, proudly wearing a yellow ‘Livestrong’ and a green ‘NASA return to flight’ wristband.

Bought Mom flowers and took her out to dinner.
– a mid-40ish ‘model child’.

Imagine a big 250 lb black man who proceeds to squeeze into a kids chair, like it’s the most normal thing in the world. The result is not out of the ordinary. The
chair tumbles, the man falls, with his legs high in the air. But hey, what better way to start a gaggle of kids giggling with utmost amusement, like only kids can.
– per Ruth.

It’s the era of Vietnam War and racial de-segregation. It’s also the era when hitchhiking was a rite of passage and no one thought twice of giving a ride to a
stranger. A young ‘white’ boy – he’s not really white – is hitchhiking from Michigan to Texas . From the tranquil north to the burning south. He’s picked by a
back man. The dichotomy couldn’t be more profound. Obviously it’s not a ride that will take him all the way to the south. Over the short journey the two men
talk. A man with share-cropper parentage and a man with Puerto Rican parentage, may not have many things in common, and yet they do. By the time the young man hops off, wary nervous smiles have given way to warm easy laughter. The negro divulges that he’d a shotgun hidden all the time, in case the white man had acted funny. Perhaps, this was one of those random connections that one never forgets in a life-time. One never knows where kindness can lead.

Another Vietnam-era tale. Let’s take a one horse town and call it Jackson (no offence meant). There’s only one flight out of town, in the evening. You miss it,
and you sleep overnight at the ‘airport’ – there’s no hotel- to catch next night’s flight. A young marine barely makes it to the hangar/ airport, only to be told the flight is readying for take-off. The marine can’t take ‘No’ for an answer. It’s his last day of leave and if he misses this flight, he will be AWOL, which in the period of general disillusionment wrought by the war, and even otherwise, is a very serious
charge for a serving marine. What should he do? What will you do? He rushes out to the tarmac. The plane has taxied to the end of the runway and the pilot is
revving up the motors. This is a small propeller driven civilian transport. One flip of lever and the plane will bounce awkwardly like a stumbling bird over the runway and be airborne in minutes. The marine is shouting and gesticulating wildly from the ground, but the pilot can barely hear him, the cockpit is sound-proof. But his gestures convey the urgency of his voice. The pilot stops the engines, the door opens, the marine scrambles in, no treason charges get
filed, and a career is saved. Another random act of kindness that almost didn’t happen. Not highly recommended in today’s age of FAA guidelines, in case
you’re a pilot reading this. – both told by an ex-marine, who’d rather stay
nameless, and say ‘semper -fi’ instead.

Adopted a sick, homeless kitten. -Lauren

Gave ride to her brand new neighbour. – Anjali

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