When the woman sitting near me on the bus provided the young man getting on with a discounted ride, it was unlikely this interaction would have much impact on either one. The man, who was probably no older than 18, did not have the correct change. The woman offered use of her metro card and exempted him from giving her the total value of the ride. The man thanked her politely and she went on listening to her music as though nothing had happened. But something did indeed happen. One person was nice to another person, someone quite random for no reason whatsoever. You might say this is no big deal and considering there is a good chance both of the parties involved have already forgotten it even happened you’d have a valid point. So why is it worthy of a post?
I have no idea if the woman practiced any religion let alone celebrated Christmas. I as a Jewish man do not celebrate Christmas. However, if there is one thing I recognize and appreciate this time of year is the message of goodwill to all men and women. It got me thinking and brought me to one important conclusion. A conclusion that mostly everyone reading this would say is obvious, while also being sadly aware that it is not practically applied throughout the world nearly as much as it should be. And the conclusion is as follows.
If you believe in any religion or structure designed to uplift your spirit and soul, if you do not use this as a means to improve your treatment towards your fellow man, you are not only missing the point, you are degrading its very essence. It all starts with how we treat other people. I make no claims to always doing it right, but I know when I do it wrong, it is I who am wrong and I who need to improve. No matter what you believe, we exist together as human beings, and if we are not able to show acts of decency, let alone kindness, the future is anything but bright. But if we grow into individuals always working towards the betterment of ourselves and others, we do credit to the structure we follow. And for those of us who believe in God, we truly do behave in his image.
Happy holidays to everyone.