On a recent blustery day in our neighborhood the sound of a loud and high pitched car alarm could be heard echoing up and down Russell Street. It was going on for so long that it served as the sound track for me as I dashed down the stairs fully-laden for a meeting. Just as I was getting to my car, it stopped. I startled, looked up, hit my toe on an uneven bit of concrete, tilted to catch my computer, which was slipping out of my hands, and fell with a thud on the sidewalk.
I scraped my knee and my pride. Just as I gathered myself and my belongings together and stood up, I noticed a shiny Cadillac pulling up to the curb next to me with its windows rolled down and two concerned men peering out at me. “Are you okay, ‘ma’am? We saw you fall and wanted to see if we could help?”
I was touched… a trifle embarrassed, but touched. They had looped back specifically to see if I was okay and to offer their assistance. When headlines each day blare stories of violence and injustice it’s so wonderful to know there is still such a thing as the kindness of strangers, which brings me to the “sikhing” part of my story. A few days earlier, almost in the exact spot where I fell, another large shiny car pulled up to the curb with two men inside wearing the distinctively wrapped turbans of Sikh males. The man on the driver’s side got out and asked me for assistance in broken English. He was pointing to the mural for Eastern Market painted on the side of our loft building and after some gesturing and guessing I figured out he was asking me if Eastern Market was in that building?
With some more gesturing on my part, I was able to convey to them that this entire area was Eastern Market and point out where the butcher shops and fish markets and produce stands and wholesalers are located. I also showed them where to get more information via the Eastern Market Corporation. This took a mere few minutes on my part but their gratitude was immense. They seemed both pleased and impressed by Eastern Market and the play on words of Sikhs seeking Eastern Market popped into my head only to vanish until two more strangers reminded me that kindness is powerful and good for Karma too.