Day 424: Theory of good-deed relativity

Albert Einstein: Genius schmenius, doesn't he have the kindest eyes?
Albert Einstein: Genius schmenius, doesn't he have the kindest eyes?

Most days I wander the streets anonymously, and I like it that way. Today was different, however. Today was Wednesday.

Wednesday mornings as I emerge from the dark cavern of the subway, I seek out Mr. Singh. He’s the jovial man who stands on a nearby corner selling Outreach Connection (“Helping the homeless and unemployed!”).

I usually stop to say hello and chat for a minute before buying that week’s issue.

As I approached Mr. Singh this morning, he broke out in a huge smile and said, “I looked for you last week.”

I was touched, moved, verging on verklempt. “Yes, I was away,” I explained with a mini lump in my throat… a lumpette.

He motioned to his nearby bicycle. I walked over with him and he rifled through the big green satchel balanced between his handle bars. He pulled out another Outreach Connection.

“This is last week’s,” he said pointing to the issue number at the top. “It’s 821 and this week’s is 822.”

The lumpette expanded when I realized he’d put aside “my” copy for me. I managed to croak out a thank you and went on my merry way. Then I felt a pang of guilt for getting a two-for-one deal so I went back and gave him something for the second paper as well.

I still can’t believe he took such time and attention. If only everyone took such pride in their work.

And his Notable Quotables on the cover?

Last week:

The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true.
— James Branch Cabell (1879-1958)

This week:

All our lauded technological progress – our very civilization – is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)


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