Today, I was late to work. Late due to a doctor’s appointment and delays on the train. The main lobby of our building in midtown Manhattan could not be used. Someone lost their life last night in front of our doors. A brawl that left a bar, and left one man dead.
The day was filled with meetings, productivity, sighs, and laughs. But like many days, you become absorbed in the day to day, the monotony, you disconnect from the truth you seek to be.
As I hung around later into the evening, a co-worker and I quickly caught up. When I realize how difficult of a time he was having I asked “what can I do for you”? He was so shocked, tears glistened in his eyes as he said “thank you. No one has asked me that”. We chatted about a few ideas, nothing that could be solved in the moment but with promises to touch base again.
Fast forward to nearly 10:30 pm. I am home from the grocery store trying to prepare my car for a donation tomorrow. But I can’t seem to get the back license plate off. The screws are rusted and stripped. After efforts with multiple tools, I realize this will not happen tonight.
Without a question, as late as it is, I text my landlord, asking if I can borrow a wrench in the morning from his workbench. He immediately writes back that he will get up early in the morning to take the screws off for me.
Just as my coworker did when I shared some kindness, I cried at this kindness. I felt helpless, not sure how I could change this situation or get the aid I needed. It can be so hard to reach out and ask for a bit of help, but if we don’t, we may miss those moments to allow others to be givers.
So I wrote to my coworker. Thanking him for allowing me to be with him and share some kindness, as I truly believe it opened me up to asking out of my own need and then receiving such help as well.
Perhaps it truly is “in giving that we receive“.