Daily Prompts · Life

The Kindness of Strangers

 

Daily Prompt:  Radical

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      Photo Credit: Chicago Patch

I’ve noticed lately that after watching the nightly news, my mood turns instantly glum.  With the exception of the positive human interest story at the end of the broadcast, it’s negative election campaigns, cyber terrorism, racism, extreme destructive weather, images of starving children in war torn Syria.  Local news is even worse.  The lead is always about some murder(s) or shootings.  Chicago has gotten quite a lot of media coverage recently about the high murder rate and spike in crimes.  Disheartening, depressing, sad, numbing.  Those are just a few of the words you could use to describe what’s depicted in the news.  Some say the news skews in that direction because it brings in more ratings.  Warm, fuzzy stories might be too boring.  I’ll never understand that.  A balance, at least?  While I’m an advocate of keeping abreast of current events, sometimes it’s just too much.

Yesterday I caught a different story on the news while driving to work.  It touched me immeasurably (ok, I bawled), and I felt moved to share it here.  Many of you may have already heard about it, since the story is now being shared worldwide.  It’s the story of Fidencio Sanchez, an 89 year old Chicago man who sells popsicles from his freezer cart in the Little Village neighborhood.  Fidencio was retired.  But his wife is ill, and the daughter who took care of them died recently.  So, he went back to work.   A customer saw him pushing the cart with some difficulty, hunched over, and went over to buy $50 worth of popsicles.  He then set up a GoFundMe page for Sanchez, and you know what happened next.  Thousands of dollars have streamed in to help this man.  Over $280,000 and counting.  I’m not sure what hit me the most – his hunched over image, the cruel twist of fate, the lost retirement with no other net to fall back on?  But the outcome was truly divine.  It’s the kindness of strangers that reminds you we’re all really connected, one large human family.  For all the destruction and chaos out there commanding our world, it’s stories like these that offer up a bit of redemption.  Nothing radical, just love.

You can read about the story here.

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