From time to time I feel strongly about things. I do some thinking, and I think that I can say something profound. I don't want to do that right now.
If there is anything I have learned during the past few months, it's that people are amazing. Sometimes I forget, but then I remember. That's usually when I start crying.
A few months ago I was on a plane coming from Chicago. I had just presented at my first professional conference and I was on my way back home. I sat by the window and a young father sat next to me in the aisle seat. His wife was in the aisle seat in front of him. They had a little baby. Looking back, I don't know why I didn't offer to trade one of them spots so they could sit together.
During the flight, the baby cried. It cried loudly, but I patted myself on the back for not feeling annoyed about it. I was so kind. After a while, an older woman walked over to our section from the front of the plane. I don't remember what she said to the mother, but suddenly she had the baby in her arms. She stood in the aisle, rocking the baby and chatting politely with the mother. Within minutes, the baby went to sleep.
About a month ago I was deep in the first semester of grad school, and I had all but shut myself off from the world outside my little life. One day, out of the blue, I received a text message from one of my dearest old friends. He told me he loved me and missed me. Soon after, we had a wonderful conversation.
Our neighbors across the street had a productive garden this year. The husband once offered us some squash which we graciously accepted. After that, we would occasionally come home and find some vegetables sitting in front of our door.
To say 'thank you,' my wife made a batch of her mother's cinnamon rolls. We took them over one night and awkwardly handed them to our neighbors. The next day, they asked my wife for the recipe. It took a couple weeks for my wife to send it, but eventually she did, and she then received an unexpected reply. Our neighbor, the wife, sent us an e-mail saying that she once had a cinnamon roll recipe that she loved very much. She made it for her children, and her children all loved it too. Sadly, she had lost the recipe at some point in time. When my wife brought over those cinnamon rolls, she said she was so grateful because they tasted just like the ones she used to make for her children.
These are just a few of the small things that I have seen this year. I could spend hours writing all the happy things I have seen, and perhaps I should. For now, let me just say 'thank you.' To all of my friends that reach across classes, religions and opinions, thank you for what you do. Thank you for inspiring me, and for touching my life in way I could never experience by myself. I feel your love and I am ever grateful for your wise hearts.