The other day I was walking home from work and I passed a man playing the steel drums (quite well, may I add). It wasn’t the first time I’d noticed him; I often walk this route and have heard him play before. However, this day was a bit different. Next to him was an elderly couple, a man and a lady, who were paying more attention to the drummer than any other passer by. The lady was wearing the most charming bright pink coat and she was dancing along to the music to the clear delight of the steel drum player, who usually attracts no more attention than a Londoner depositing some of their loose change into his hat. Her partner was watching her with an expression of both love and joy. I couldn’t help but smile at them all.
This act was so simple but so powerful. A 90 something year old lady taking the time to stop and have a little dance in the street while everyone else was too busy with their rush hour plans to even notice the drummer. She reminded me that we can create great happiness from small moments.
Once I arrived at the station I encountered another member of public. This time not so pleasant. As I followed the crowd and turned a tight corner into the station the man directly in front of me was suddenly pushed aside by a middle aged lady who spat the words “I’d like to get out!” at him. I instantly started to make excuses for her, ‘she must have been battling against the crowd trying to get out of the station for a while’ I thought, ‘she must have lost her patience’, ‘this man is guilty of nothing but following a queue so she must be having a really bad day’. Then I thought of the lady in the pink coat who had decided to pick on a stranger in a different way with a random act of kindness that spoke a thousand words. It said “I’m really enjoying your music, please keep playing so I can dance along”.
There are two types of people in this world. There are the people who create random acts of kindness, and the people who create random acts of hostility. Which one are you? As for me, I’d rather be the lady in the pink coat!