Yesterday, I was going home on the subway and we pulled into a station - I don’t even remember which one now - and the doors opened to perfectly frame a young boy playing an electric piano, his father standing over him. When the boy finished playing, the father patted the boy’s shoulder and there was a smattering of applause. Just as the applause ended, the father turned around and started rummaging in the trash can behind him, pulling things out and sniffing to see if they were edible while the boy just sat, waiting. It was an incredibly poignant, both a public and private moment, and then the doors closed and we were on our way again.
Happy Monday, ya’ll.
Ryan Garcia has decided to make an effort to do one nice thing every day of the year. Some are bigger than others, but all of them seem to be altruist. Garcia’s blog (http://www.366randomacts.org) got me a bit weepy. It reminded me of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos commencement address to Princeton, as his grandfather once told him, “it’s harder to be kind than clever.”
Here is an excerpt from the commencement address at Princeton:
What I want to talk to you about today is the difference between gifts and choices. Cleverness is a gift, kindness is a choice. Gifts are easy — they’re given after all. Choices can be hard. You can seduce yourself with your gifts if you’re not careful, and if you do, it’ll probably be to the detriment of your choices.
The reason acts of kindness are so inspiring is because they don’t have to happen, we can all go about happily pushing and shoving scrambling for the next thing. It takes work, and is often uncomfortable, to go out of our way for someone else.
In the end, I will take more pride in my choices than in my gifts. I am always clever, it is one of my gifts. But being kind? That’s the work.
This is amazing.
Sometimes the perfect thing to brighten your day is to watch an 8-year-old sing Hardcore.