Jumper Cables

June 9, 2008

This past Sunday, walking back from lunch, my roommate and I witnessed sheer elation on the streets of New York embodied by a family of four. On Broadway and Duane streets, a mother and three young children literally jumped up in unison with arms outstretched and cried out with jubilation at the moment their car was jump-started by what I assumed to be a complete stranger. I don’t know why this moment struck me the way it did, but I wasn’t alone, as my roommate was just as moved. These people exhibited a buoyant exuberance typically reserved for the Pope and Michael Jackson at the restarting of a car, a seemingly mundane event.

I think there were several factors at play. One, the sun was beating down as the midday heat neared one hundred and two, the thought of a random stranger lending a helping hand in New York seemed a somewhat rare occurance. I couldn’t help but think about how long they had been waiting or where they were headed to that caused such excitement. Judging by the smiles on the little girls’ faces, you would’ve thought they were off to Disney Land. Regardless of where they wound up, they unknowingly brightened up my day.

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