Tuesday, January 17, 2006


A while back, my interwebs friend Good Blair and I discussed posting random acts of kindness on our blogs.* We've decided to try again. Blair has already posted the first one here.

This is my first post in what will hopefully be a series of Tuesday Tokens of Altruistic Subjective Thoughtfulness. A TTOAST to human kindness if you will.

A couple of days ago, I was in a supermarket. I wasn't really paying attention as I walked round the end of an aisle and very nearly collided with a small elderly lady.

To fully understand the scene it's necessary to indulge in a little self-description. I'm 6 feet, four inches tall and no-one's suggested I'm thin since I was at school. It had been maybe three or four days since I'd had a shave and I've never quite grown out of a tendency towards wearing skaterboy clothes (a penchant for which I developed about 10 years before it was fashionable which says something about something most probably concerning the fact that I'm too old to dress that way now). My profile photo is a caricature , I don't ever wear a baseball cap under a hood, but it's not a long way from how I was dressed at the time that this happened.

So, 6 feet, four inches of scruffiness is stood directly in front of this small elderly woman;I'm a lot closer than would normally be considered acceptable. I'm having one of those frozen moments when my brain is just trying to get into gear to offer an apology and take a step or two back. While that process struggles towards some sort of outcome, the lady looks up and just smiles the most friendly smile. By the time I'd managed to splutter out my apology, I was smiling too. "No, no, I wasn't looking where I was going either" she said and off she went, still smiling.

It was the smallest thing but it made me smile for much of the rest of the day. And it's made me smile again while writing this post.

What token of thoughtfulness have you observed recently?

* I know that some cynical types will feel that this is all a bit cliched. Maybe it is. There is, however, nothing wrong with celebrating the fact that human beings are capable of being nice to each other, cliche or not. Let's celebrate good stuff, hurray!!!


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