If you think what you are doing doesn’t matter, let me tell you a story of a single moment from nearly 2 years ago that I still think about to this day.
In January 2017, I was going through some things in my personal life and having a really hard time with, well, everything. One day in particular, I was so dejected, I could feel myself dragging lead boots to work. I loved my job. I loved my colleagues. But I couldn’t shake the numb of not wanting to do anything.
As I stood in a crowd of people attempting to catch the shuttle to Grand Central Station, I realized there wasn’t going to be room on the shuttle. It was crowded, and I didn’t have the energy to squeeze in and bother my already smushed up fellow commuters.
Then, at the very moment I decided I would walk to the other track for the next shuttle, an older woman with kind eyes looked at me and smiled. She stepped slightly to the side and gestured at the human sized spot she had created for me to step onto the train. I did and we smiled at each other as we hurdled toward Grand Central.
That’s it. That was the entire moment. No words were spoken. We didn’t exchange phone numbers. We aren’t friends on Facebook. I doubt I will ever cross paths with this woman again. But I think about her constantly.
I think about the way she made room, the way she showed kindness when it was not expected or had no possible reward. I think about her when I am feeling hopeless about current events or humanity. I think about her because I know she thought nothing of her actions that morning.
If you think it doesn’t matter, think of this woman. She has no idea what she did but almost two years later, I can still remember how she made me feel that morning when she smiled, when she acknowledged my existence, when she made a space.
If you think it doesn’t matter, think again. I promise it does.