I remember when I was a kid in High School, there was this other kid in the school who no one seemed to like. Everyone thought he was rude and abrupt, condescending and even nasty.
People avoided him and even though he sat right behind me in one class, I kept my distance from him.
Then one day during a blizzard, I was stuck in a snowdrift in the student parking lot. It was way after school and no one was around.
Well, lo and behold this rude dude, the same one from my class, comes driving by and catches sight of me trying to dig myself out. He puts his car in reverse, pulls up next to me, yanks a chain out of his car and gets me out. I guess I looked like a mess because he even followed me home to make sure I got back OK. All the time without saying much. He just waved and took off.
I realized then how wrong I was then about not judging the proverbial book by the cover.
You know, a lot of people think New Yorkers are rude and nasty -- more likely to give you a finger than a hand.
Then something bad happens -- like a blackout -- and something miraculous happens.
I saw it for myself last night:
A woman who offered a ride to a young couple stranded outside a now shut down train station.
An executive in this very building who lent his office for some kids far from home who just needed a place to crash.
The young man who took it upon himself to direct traffic at an intersection.
The executive who gave up his hotel room to the pregnant woman who couldn't fine one.
The coffee shop owner passing out free bottles of water.
The restaurant manager who led a candle-lit karaoke night.
The building guard who offered some chair cushions and a cool lobby floor to a young couple with a screaming infant.
Small acts, I guess, but what a big difference on a big day.
They say the lights went out here Thursday night. They're wrong. I have never seen them shine so bright.
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