I did a good deed for a stranger today - the grandparent of one of the young I people I serve in my job. He wanted color copies of a photo he saw in the newspaper that were erroneously credited to me. So, I printed five copies of one, and one of the other onto a color printer at the office - vivid 8.5 x 11 pictures of his granddaughter. The task was definitely outside the scope of my responsibility, and it took me about seven minutes to take care of his needs. While we waited, we chatted politely about his granddaughter's future plans and his neighborhood in Somerville.
Thirty minutes after I bade him farewell, he returned with the above box of cookies. "You look like the kind of nice girl who has a sweet tooth," he said, presenting me with two pounds of Italian cookies in a bakery box tied with red string. He exhorted me to come to his home anytime, so I could meet his wife and have a cup of tea. "Bring any friends you might have who live in Somerville," he repeated as he again headed out of my office and back to his home two miles away.
I'm not a big fan of swinging by the homes of strangers. And, his offer was unusual. I'm a yuppie newcomer in a City populated by old timers. He reached out to me, saw that I wasn't threatening, and reached out again. I am preparing a formal thank you note - I love the opportunity to send old fashioned mail.
And I might try to convince BMG to join me for a cup of tea at the home of these elderly neighbors - for the adventure of it all. I am certain we'll leave not only with tea in our bellies, but also a warm sense of community in our hearts.