Carol Rosenberg’s letter to the editor, “Man’s best friend,” on May 3 touched me. Not in a puppy-pat-on-the-head kind of way, but in a profoundly deeper, more meaningful way.
You started the chain of kindness by first noticing the vibrant world around you. You saw the man and his dog as living beings rather than part of the milieu of stagnant pictures we race past every day.
You saw a living, breathing man and his faithful dog, rather than the lifeless background scenery of life, and you made a conscious decision to act.
You purchased a bowl for water at the Healthy Pet store. Jeffrey Nord, the manager, who is truly an angel to the community and one of the nicest people to exist on this planet—maybe it has something to do with the fact that he is in the pet industry—and the other employee not only took your baton, but grabbed it by the horns.
They could have just filled the bowl and said, “Have a nice day.” Instead, they added donated dog food and water bottles.
But the most profoundly moving thing they did was to consider the significance of the man, without whom the dog would probably not be long for the world.
Jeffrey Nord left his post at the store to personally buy a muffin, a gesture that would feed the man’s soul so that he could have the energy to champion for his doggy companion in this dog-eat-dog world.
As if that were not enough, the bus driver, a stranger to the previous events, perhaps sensing that the inanimate backdrop of the world was coming to life, acknowledged the man’s humanity and grabbed hold of the invisible baton.
The driver placed his empathy above the rules of his job and allowed the man to enter the bus with his dog. With invisible baton in hand, the bus driver closed the door on the stories yet to come for the man and his dog.
I’m hopeful the baton kept moving from one conscious, loving human hand to the next.
For me, this is a story about the chain of kindness that can occur when we are aware and alert to the world around us. It truly touched me deeply, right down to the fur on my pet-loving heart.
It was a good reminder that compassion doesn’t just occur when we volunteer our time for a cause or donate money to charity.
It happens when we do more than glance up at life from our distractions, when we really notice people and everyday opportunities to express our humanity in small gestures, like holding a door, thanking the mail delivery person, allowing someone to go before us in line or buying a bowl to give water to a thirsty dog and offering a muffin to his loving human.
Thanks for the reminder, Carol.
Gina Main Oak Park