It happens every January. We’re inundated with end-of-year gloom and doom: murder statistics, highway tragedies, government gridlock, cultural hate crimes, the hopelessness of world conflict,… Just when I was considering a radical New Years resolution to boycott newspapers and evening news broadcasts, this…
My friend Jean, 85 and active, just called to share an incredible experience with me. She was driving along a county road when something caught her attention, causing her to come to an abrupt halt. A woman wearing a flowing dress and head-scarf was placing a wrought iron table and chairs alongside a large dumpster.
“That would be perfect for my granddaughter’s apartment,” Jean said, admiring the furniture. “She lives in Pennsylvania.”
“You’re welcome to take them,” the woman offered.
The woman and her teenage daughter loaded the chairs and table (with a heavy glass top,) into their own SUV and followed Jean the four miles to her home. After the items were placed on the car port, Jean tried, repeatedly, to pay the woman for her effort. Each time, the money was refused. Finally, my friend folded the bills and slipped them into the daughter’s jacket pocket.
Once again, the mother returned the money saying, “Our culture does not permit us to accept anything from an older person. You are like our grandmother.”
It was an insignificant incident, but a big story none-the-less. Perhaps, the first of many in this new year….