The Kindness of Strangers

So I admit it.  The phone needed a breathalyzer.  Or I needed a friend to pry it out of my hands.  My texting aside, I was on public transport home and then I caught a cab for the last 1.5 miles.  As luck or fate or whatever would have it, I landed in a cab with a good Moroccan boy.

On the subject of Morocco.  I miss my former MIL, who remains one of the best examples of humanity I’ve ever come across.  I miss the part where I knew a little something about a world that isn’t the one I grew up with.  I miss going over there, the hamam, preserved lemons, some of the cutest nieces and nephews in the history of progeny…

I don’t miss trying to negotiate the cultural expectations where they so clearly didn’t match up.  I don’t miss my ex husband. I do miss knowing bad words in Mahgrebi.

So there I am in the cab, I find out he’s Moroccan, and so I start asking questions.  He’s got a wedding ring on and so I ask him about his wife.  Remember, I’m thoroughly tipsy at this point.  He’s not yet married, but she’s going to come over as soon as she finishes her degree.  Now I get bossy, because I know this experience.  And I start explaining to him what it’s like to be here instead of there and how his out of the house social life will be much as it was, but her inside the house social life won’t be the same at all, and he’s going to have to make some adjustments.

This is clearly none of my business.  Yet something must have worked, because he gave me his phone number in case I ever need a ride (I don’t think there was any more to it than that) and he gave me his worry beads.

I’m a big fan of the kindness of strangers.  Not out of greed, but because we live in a world that can be so disconnected.  You never know with people.  Good and bad.  You never know what they need to hear, or how small things carry on with them.  You never know what is behind a frown, or silence, or even rudeness.  I mean, some people are just horrible and rude, but even that starts somewhere.  Everyone has reasons.  Everyone has a story.  Kindness is the right choice.  Every time.

And now I’ve got a set of prayer beads in my purse that I suspect will be something I carry with me pretty much full time from here on out.  A reminder of the kindness of strangers, and to pass that kindness forward when I get too far in my head.

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The Kindness of Strangers

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