Filing off the plane with our recalcitrant roller bags, our ponderous satchels. Ahead on the jet bridge, an elderly woman stumbles and goes down hard, face first. A young woman drops her own bags and kneels beside the old woman, who is disoriented, who is bleeding from her face, who should not be traveling alone. The young woman barks orders at watching gate attendants for napkins, a bandage, paramedics. She speaks soothingly to the distraught woman. She helps her wipe the blood from her face and mouth. She cares not one whit for the people queuing behind her and her abandoned bags that are like a blockade. She quiets the woman and stays by her side until help arrives. We all of us file slowly past, humbled in the presence of selflessness.


  1. Ed Chinn

    Tony, this little story is like taking a 2-by-4 blow to the forehead. It exposes our raging pace and our cavernous narcissism. Sometimes, all it takes is one sane, grownup, gracious plumbline to reveal the vertigo all around.

    Thank you for taking the time to report what you saw. I know it will influence me TODAY. I hope it goes far beyond that.

  2. Tari

    Love to see that – we’re all so tired and preoccupied with our own needs, it’s heartening to see someone forget their own and love a stranger.

    I saw something similar at the drugstore not long ago. I showed up after the fact (and just before the paramedics): an elderly woman had fallen, hard, and one employee and a customer were sitting with her, doing what they could, while another employee sat next to her very bewildered and upset husband, keeping him calm and reminding him that the ambulance was on its way. The rest of the customers somehow didn’t seem to mind that there was only one employee left to help them check out, and they stayed quietly in one huge line. It was, as in your instance, a scene that somehow feeds the soul.

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