Part 2 – Danishes

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For part 1 of this story, click HERE.

I put the three large boxes of Danishes and my iced coffee in one hand, and swiped through the turnstile with the other. A relatively empty train pulled in a few seconds later and I was traveling on the 6 down to 23rd street.

When I emerged from the station, I walked west down 23rd street, and looked up at the buildings standing tall around me. I too felt tall, like I was finally a part of the blood that runs through the arteries of this city.

The streets were eerily empty for 8:45 AM. On the south side of 23rd Street I saw a homeless man sitting on the sidewalk ahead of me. He had a sign that read: ANY EXTRA FOOD HELPS.

I walked by him and immediately turned around as I realized I was holding three large boxes of Danishes. My co-workers are awesome, but we have several kitchens full of food in our office.

I could definitely spare something for this guy.

As I approached him, I asked if he wanted any food. In hindsight, it was a dumb question. The man had a sign that said: ANY EXTRA FOOD HELPS.

Could he have been any clearer?

In broken English he said, “Lady. Is that pizza?”

Pizza is something I could eat all day/every day, so I smiled at his question.

I said, “Sorry. It’s just Danishes. Do you still want them?”

He shook his head and said, “Yes please!”

I handed him over one of the boxes, and before I could walk away he had devoured one of the Danishes and had shoved a second one in his mouth.

He said, “Thank you lady”, as Danish crumbs fell to the ground.

I nodded and headed towards the west side.

As I walked past Madison Square Park, it hit me:

It’s easy being selfish. It’s easy being mean. It’s easy being self-righteous. It’s easy to tear others down. It’s easy being closed-minded.

The struggle lies in kindness, accepting others, opening one’s mind, and not letting fear run one’s life.

Lina’s simple kindness to everyone who passed her way, was a great lesson for me at a time when I needed it most.

I think she may have found the secret to a happy and fulfilling life. So I am going to follow her lead and find out.

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