I recently took the Friday before New Year’s Day off of work to spend time with my wife and kids. We spent several hours that morning at the Main Library in Downtown Columbus, mainly in the kids area searching for and reading various kids books, drawing and taking part in a bunch of arts and crafts activities and checking out the last day of the wonderful Huntington Holiday Train exhibit. Needless to say, the downtown library is a great place to spend quality time with the kids. On this particular day, our Congresswoman Joyce Beatty was being sworn in to the U.S. House of Representatives in a ceremony on the second floor and there were a lot of people in the building. The mood around the library was filled with excitement, and everyone seemed really happy and cheerful.
When it became time to leave, we left through the front of the building onto Grant Street. As we were walking to our car on State Street, we noticed an elderly gentleman with a cane struggling to walk along the sidewalk. As I was thinking about helping him, a young lady came from across the street to assist him. At this point we were within a few feet of this interaction and overheard the lady sincerely attempting to escort the elderly gentleman to his destination at the nearby Grant Medical Center. The gentleman politely refused her assistance but accepted her offer to walk along and talk with him until he got to the Center.
When we got to the car I asked my eight-year-old son his thoughts about what the lady was doing. He knew exactly what had happened in that the lady was being nice and wanted to help the “old man”. We discussed how it is not only the right thing to do, helping others when we can, but it also has effects that go far beyond the action of simply helping people. We talked about how all of those people: the elderly gentleman, the young lady, the witnesses, and even us, will carry on more of an awareness of kindness and helpfulness that will transcend to other people we interact with – and that awareness will evolve into action which will help make our community even better.
While having this discussion and stopped at a red light on Spring Street, we then witnessed with the car in front of us a professionally dressed gentleman get out of his car and picked up a few large pieces of car debris from the road and placed them on the sidewalk near a trash can. I explained to my sons that the nice man was removing the debris from the road so that no other motorist would get hurt or damage their own car.
Our family was on cloud nine after this series of events and we talked about them more over lunch. It was a very positive experience to help close out the year, and I’m really thankful that the very fine people of central Ohio demonstrated this type of behavior for my family to witness.
By Steve Swift, Contributor