How a random act of kindness in #YEG brought joy

An elderly lady with a walker was part way across 104 Avenue when she changed her mind to retreat to the sidewalk she had just left.  I sat in my vehicle waiting for my light to advance to green, puzzled about her decision.  The intersection was a maze of traffic barriers punctuated by large equipment with four lanes of cars ushered into only two lanes.  Construction zone signage littered the narrow westbound lane warning drivers about speed and admonishing them to observe the upcoming flag person. A cement truck was parked in the middle of the closed lanes delivering its load to a mini-swarm of workers.  My primary concern was to navigate the narrow, sign-bound lane without taking out a barrier or sign.  My thoughts were on my own trip home until I saw the lady.

She struggled as she tried to lift her walker back onto the sidewalk, only to turn around and face the intersection to try again when the light would change the next time. Would she ever get across that busy road with all its chaos when it was so obviously challenging to even maneuver her walker off the curb? My light changed to green as a flag person appeared from the sidelines.  A human watching the situation rose to be her best self.  She walked out into the intersection stopping all four directions while she called to one of the cement workers to come help.

A strapping young man in cement splashed clothes and a hard hat dropped his tools and ran to the elderly lady.  He offered her an arm as he lifted her walker over the curb edge.  I wondered if he would set her on her way then, but he didn't disappoint me.  He walked slowly and graciously across the road with the senior's arm tucked firmly into his.  The normally impatient drivers sat in their vehicles in silence; no horns blasted, no middle fingers were waggling, no angry voices were raised.  It was as if the sanctity of the moment had stilled every harsh edge.

The light went through two phases before the street crossing was complete yet not a sound was heard.  When the senior reached the other side of the street safely, the cement worker turned and ran back to his work.  The flag lady waved to all directions of traffic and removed herself from the intersection.  Two people took time that day to serve someone they didn't know by carrying out a Random Act of Kindness.

Although this event happened over two weeks ago it lingered with me. Archbishop Desmond Tutu said "our greatest joy is when we seek to do good for others".   This week, let's pause at the intersections of our days to glance around, seizing those opportunities to do good and be of service. One day at a time, one action at a time, make your corners of the world more compassionate and joyful. When you see someone else serving in kindness, create more joy by letting all of us know.