I was waiting for the light to change at the corner of 34th and Market today, when the guy standing next to me sneezed loudly. I thought about it for half a beat, and decided to go for it. I said, “Bless you” to a total stranger. His thank you carried a decidedly shocked tone. The woman on the other side of him was also a little surprised that I had acknowledged his sneeze.
I don’t like that he was surprised that someone would offer this small kindness and I don’t like that I hesitated to offer it. I feel like in the wake of Katrina, when we’re all hungry to help, maybe the best way to help is to redirect some of that energy towards being kind, show some little bits of love, to the strangers all around us.
Just a thought.