170 Ethics

I witnessed a scene at the post office this morning that I believe changed my life. I’m not sure how deeply or for how long, but I hope I won’t forget it anytime soon.

It goes like this: the short, elderly woman in front of me had two boxes, each at least a cubic foot in size. She was having trouble holding them. They looked like they could have fallen out of her hands at any moment. But what do I do about it? Zip, zilch, nada, nichts, niente.

Another elderly woman a few places ahead of us comes up and offers the woman her place in line, much closer to the front. Selfish me thinks there’s something going on. Fortunately I got that thought out of my head as soon as possible. I realized the second woman was just doing a good deed, for no other reason than she thought it was the right thing to do.

The woman with the boxes was still juggling them when the man in front of her offered to hold them for her. This whole scene was significant to me because I haven’t seen a whole lot of acts of generosity like that since I came. I still like Chicago, but I get turned off at all the times people honk at me or try to pass me on the sidewalk. I feel like a bumpkin, movin’ kinda slow at the junction. Just me and a lot of beautiful people walking on air with their great jobs and their cool friends, going to clubs so exclusive they don’t have windows, and they don’t put their name on the outside.

I can’t tell you how snotty some of the people around here are, but then again, that used to be me. I was never very good at being cool, though; I always felt guilty when I gave someone the cold shoulder.

I don’t know about you, but I think Easter has it all over Christmas when it comes to Christian holidays with pagan roots. The candy is pretty much the same, but the story is way better. After all, anybody can be born, but to come back to life after you’ve been nailed to a cross? Come on! That is freakin’ superhero material! And then to push aside this humungous stone that’s blocking the way out of your crypt as if it were just a plain-old door? Truly mind-blowing stuff.

The weather is also a little better this time of year than it is at the end of December.