It seems that this year, more so than past years, we could all use a bit of holiday cheer.
One woman apparently decided to make this her mission this morning during my otherwise dreary early morning commute.
I boarded the CTA Red Line train at Roosevelt and noticed a woman walking through the CTA Red Line train car, silently handing out what looked like a small white slip of paper. I braced myself to say "no thank you," assuming it was just another flier or coupon. As she approached me though, something about her made me change my mind and I hesitantly reached out to accept her handout. Only then did I realize that the small white slip of paper wasn't a flier or coupon, it was an envelope. This was different - I slowly opened the envelope, nervous about its contents. Inside was a crisp $5 bill.
The woman finished making her way through the L car, handing an envelope to every single person before quietly settling into one of the corner seats. One by one, the people on the train began to realize what they had just witnessed. Unaccustomed to such kind acts, everyone on the train just glanced at one another, dumbfounded by what had just happened.
Realizing I couldn't let this kind act go unrecognized, I walked over and sat down next to the woman. As the train slowed into the Monroe stop, I thanked her and told her what an inspiration she was. She just smiled, and gave a slight nod before getting up and exiting the train.
After the tragic events at Sandy Hook elementary school last week, MSNBC's Ann Curry urged her Twitter followers to do 20 acts of kindness to honor each child lost in Newtown:
Imagine if all of us committed to 20 mitvahs/acts of kindness to honor each child lost in Newtown. I'm in. If you are RT #20Acts— Ann Curry (@AnnCurry) December 16, 2012
Her single tweet inspired hundreds to commit acts of kindness and to tweet about it using the #20acts or #26acts hashtag.
I don't know if this woman was moved by Newtown, or if she was simply trying to spread holiday cheer, but one thing is for sure - she inspired me, and hopefully by sharing her story, she inspired you too. So now I ask, what will you do to pass it on?