It was at 5:45 am in the streets of NY. I was watering the plants in front of my building when a taxi pulled at the curb. A young man came out, and without hesitation approached me and looked at me straight in the eyes with opened arms as he got closer.
I felt a little uncomfortable with the situation, so with a kind voice he asked, "You're not going to give me a hug?" I smiled and I gave have him the biggest hug I could, given the circumstances. So I asked him: Are you alright? and he said, "Yes."
He walked away from me, as I stood frozen with the hose in my hands. I looked around like I was just being pranked. Scratching my head in disbelief, I meditated on what just took place before my eyes. Looking straight into the sky, I whispered to myself: These kind of things don't happen in Manhattan! But what I couldn't understand at the moment was that the person was not in need of a hug but it was me.
It took a lot of courage for that person to walk up to a total stranger and offer a hug. I sighed as I thought that it was not just him alone showing his compassion but the entire universe and my ancestors. A few tears fell from my eyes as I finally admitted it was me that was in need of a hug.
So many times I found myself in a situation where I had the opportunity to show my compassion, but I turned around and walked away. I am not saying we should all hug total strangers, but at least a smile or a hello, a good morning or simply a "hi." You have no idea how much one gesture of kindness will affect another person. It did not cost a thing for that young man to hug me and share with me a great lesson, to in turn, share with everyone of you today.
Let's not only preach in the name of love, but practice it every chance you get.