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Being Kind While Getting on the El?

A Year of Being Kind blog – Monday, August 25, 2014

CTA elevated trains, near Adams and Wabash. Photo credit - David Harrison

CTA elevated trains, near Adams and Wabash.
Photo credit – David Harrison

Being Kind While Getting on the El?

I had an opportunity to be kind today, and I did not take advantage of it. Yes, I purposely said “No” to a really nice young man. I believe he was from a foreign country. He could speak quite credible English! (Much better than I could do in any foreign language, even when I was marginally fluent, years ago.)

Yes, I felt very badly. Abysmal. I could just feel my heart sink when I said “No.” I knew I had to get on the El myself and go downtown for a business meeting. I was meeting with several other people, and I was on a strict time schedule. I knew I would have ordinarily, quite willingly helped him. But, not today. I quickly checked to see that a CTA employee was coming over to assist him—and the nice man was, I could tell. I was relieved, believe me!

When I got up to the platform, sure enough. The inbound El pulled up to the platform in less than two minutes. Since it was later morning, there were several seats available. I seated myself and pulled out my book.

I need to make a confession: I enjoy murder mysteries. However, lately, I have been so terribly busy (and this blog is one thing that does take time each day, time that I’d probably otherwise spend on reading). I got a twinge of guilt as I sat reading, taking some genuine pleasure in this mystery. It was (is!) a wonderful mystery, too. I have recently discovered the Phryne Fisher mystery series, but haven’t read any of them yet. Until today. I’m now one third of my way through the initial book of the series. Superb writing! Clever dialogue, and the protagonist is quite a piece of work, too.

I still thought about that young man. After I told him I couldn’t help him out with his fare card, he looked all forlorn. Yes, I enjoyed my book, once I got up the stairs and onto the train! But, I did feel guilty, all the same. Both at the time, and afterwards, too.

Which leads me to wonder: how much is concentrating on “being kind” taking me away from other things? Like, reading for pleasure? (I have several of Ms. Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher mysteries waiting for me. Patiently waiting.) Although, writing this blog is definitely a pleasure for me, too.

Oh, I was kind to several people downtown, after my meeting. Just in case anyone was keeping score at home. I wonder what God will bring my way tomorrow? I can’t wait to see.

@chaplaineliza

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