Posts Tagged ‘ripple’

We were recently in the North End of Boston. Very historical. Beautiful place. Fabulous weather. Good eats.

Passed by Paul Revere’s house on the way to a restaurant. About a block up, near a corner curb, there’s a bit of a crowd. Couple of older gents and ladies looking at the ground.

It just takes one, right?

A person looks up and we all look up because we are curious beings. A person looks down and we all look down because we are curious beings.

It’s a touristy area. Heavy foot traffic. At this point, foot traffic slows and everyone is looking down and asking, “What’s up?”

Or really more like, “What’s down?”

There is a sewer grate.

Everyone’s first thought is, “Oh good God, did their phone fall through the grate?”

Okay, maybe it was just my first thought.

But that is our society. Right or wrong. We can’t live without those phones.

Well, it wasn’t a phone.

It was the man’s car keys.

What kind of perfect storm is that? Keys dropped right into the sewer?

Oh, boy! Everyone who heard that sort of let out a sympathy groan. Tourist or local. Was like a collective groan.

You can lose your phone and get a new one. Totally stinks but it’s not the worst.

But your car keys? Dang. How are you going to get home? And maybe the house key attached?

A perfect Sunday in Boston for them. Until it wasn’t.

This little scenario rippled up the blocks.

Nope, it wasn’t a murder. Or a crime. But it rippled just the same.

I heard suggestions, “Call the city!”

And, “Call the cops!”

The next block up, a couple of waiters having a smoke outside the restaurant were like, “City ain’t gonna help ’em. Cops ain’t gonna help ’em.”

Matter of factly.

In my head I was like, “This is soooo New England.”

A few things struck me.

Everyone that passed by the man actually felt his pain. They put themselves in his shoes at that very moment. Because they could actually imagine themselves in that very same situation. Losing their keys in the sewer.


Everyone was sort of thinking, “Oh, the poor bugger. Thank God, it’s not me but I’m still feeling really bad for him. I’d like to help.”

There’s the rub.

If we can identify with a fellow human being who lost his car keys in a sewer grate then why can’t we identify with all of the others?

Why can’t we feel the pain of others? Put ourselves in a different pair of shoes for a moment? Actually imagine ourselves in the very same situation? It would even be okay to think, “Oh, the poor thing. It’s not me but I feel really bad. I’d like to help.”

That’s compassion. That’s humanbeingism at its best. Wouldn’t it be swell to see a bit more of the best?



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It’s raining in Southern California. Not a usual occurrence but it does happen now and again.

Makes me reflect on Fr. Fred’s sermon this past Sunday.

He said at one time someone saw us and said, “What a beautiful child!” Maybe it was a nurse or a parent. As we grew we were taught to say please and thank you. Manners. Someone told us to stand up straight and not to slouch. And to look people in the eye when speaking. To get along with others. They also taught us to be kind. And to be compassionate. And many, many other lessons along the way.

“While it doesn’t rain often in Southern California (and when it does folks are furiously trying to figure out how to work the windshield wipers) the skies sometimes open up and it pours. But it is made up of many drops. One drop is not going to fill the gutter. And one drop is not going to moisten the parched earth. But many drops make the difference.”

He continued, “You are like a raindrop. Might not make a bit of difference in this world. But all of you working together? Being kind and compassionate? Imagine the difference you can make!”

“And why shouldn’t it be you? You who have received so many blessings from the very beginning. Together you all can create a ripple of kindness and compassion out there in the world.”

I couldn’t agree more. Why not us? Especially when this world desperately needs a whole lot of kindness and compassion.

Why not us?

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