Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Simple Acts of Kindness

Several evenings ago I was rushing up the the Tramway steps at the Second Avenue station trying to catch the Tram before it left for the trip back to Roosevelt Island when I noticed a woman bouncing a stroller with a baby in it passing me going down the stairs. She was clearly having some difficulty but I kept rushing up the stairs to get the Tram before it left the station. I was tired and wanted to get home. I took a couple of more steps up the stairs still hearing the clacking sound of the stroller going down the stairs. Fearing that the woman would lose control of the stroller tossing the baby down the stairs I stopped, turned around and helped the women carry the stroller down the rest of the stairs. Not a big deal but a very small, simple act of kindness.

This incident reminded me of the TV commercial showing strangers helping other strangers that in turn inspires still others to do the same. Some may think the commercial lame or cynical. I thought it was great. You Tube video link of commercial is here.

Roosevelt Island 360 pays tribute to a man named Hank Carter of Wheelchair Charities who helps others and makes life much better for many of the residents of Coler-Goldwater hospital. 360 quotes from Congresswomen Maloney's web site:

Mr. Carter formed Wheelchair Charities, which raises money to give state-of-the-art wheelchairs, speech-rehab equipment, suction machines, imaging chairs, TVs, VCRs and many, many more life-enhancing medical devices to patients. He has given the lame mobility, the mute a voice, and the severely compromised the opportunity to engage in a fuller and richer life. To date, Mr. Carter and Wheelchair Charities have raised more funds than any charity for any public hospital
Perhaps those seeking to demolish Coler-Goldwater's south campus and replace it with more luxury condos should consider, at least for a moment, what will happen to the residents of the hospital.

New York's late Senator Robert F Kennedy once said:
Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
It all begins with a simple act of kindness.
Audio recording of Senator Kennedy's speech is here.