Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Power of a Child, August 30, 2006


THE POWER OF A CHILD IS AN AMAZING thing when you stop and think about it for a moment. Today, on my way to work, I witnessed that power first hand as three simple words from a four year old little boy drew two people from two entirely different era's and walks of life together long enough for them to realize that they had more in common than either realized.

It all started just a few minutes after I started my daily 20 mile commute to work this morning. Like every other morning, the mass transit bus I was on rolled up to one of it's many stops and among the passengers that boarded was an elderly woman in an old beat up wheel chair. I'm not sure why she was in the wheel chair, but the look of her face, arms, and hands told the story of a less than priviliged life. Despite her obvious handicap and her worn appearance, her pleasant demeanor was met with the typical smiles and nods of acknowledgement.

A few minutes and a couple of stops later, a young 20-something, blonde haired, blue eyed woman boarded the bus with a toddler. Both were impecably dressed, well manicured, obviously accustomed to living a more comfortable lifestyle than many of the passengers on the bus on this morning. The two took a seat directly across the aisle from the woman in the wheel chair. The little boy looked around the bus surveying his surroundings until his gaze fell on the old woman in the wheel chair. For a moment, he looked confused then he smiled at the woman in the wheel chair and said those three magic words......."Who Are You?"

Those three magic words from a wide eyed child started a conversation between two women from entirely different worlds. It was a conversation that lasted the 35 minutes that I remained on the bus and probably well after. Under any other circumstances these two women most likely would have never given each a second look. But on this day, two vastly different people found out that they actually had more in common than either of them could have possibly imagined.

It was a chance encounter that could have taken place on any bus, in city, anywhere in the world. But today, it happened in my world and I had the privilige of witnessing the formation of a new friendship and it happened all because of three simple words and the innocent, non-judgemental power of a child.

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