With all the little “t” froufra and fear swirling around the country and so many good choices of what to do one overarching message has been haunting me. The Dalai Lama has said more than any successes or discoveries what the world needs most is kindness.

I was on the way to Walgreens on Mission St. several weeks ago to pick up a subscription for a friend and I was stressed out so I decided to park illegally in the Safeway lot.  Hey, I just didn’t feel like driving around for 15 minutes—looking. I dashed out of the car, and stopped.  Shouting. Screaming.  There on the street between me and the door to the pharmacy was a tall, hairy, bedraggled man dragging a couple of bags, jutting his face at everyone, and telling everyone to F---off. I was tired. He was scary.  People were walking around him in wide berths, eyes to the ground.  I took a deep breath, stood up tall and walked toward him. I looked him straight in the eye. Not angry. Not judgmental. But, straight.

He looked back.  He said, “When I am overloaded I lash out.”

I said, “I understand,” looking directly at him and wondering with a slight tug if I was putting myself in danger. Where is this gonna go? I was alert just in case.

He looked at me directly back again and said, “You are kind. You are really a kind person.” in a soft voice.

My face broke out in smile. His comment dove straight to my heart.

I said with deep feeling:  “Take care of yourself” and continued walking.

When I came out later I saw him sitting on the ground happily eating French fries. He was in a totally different place and I had a glow in my heart. It’s still there.