"Could you reach in the bag behind me and grab out my purse?" It was an ordinary request that had an extraordinary reaction. There were looks of disbelief on the faces of everyone. The request, appropriately in sub-zero temperatures, froze the moment. Then, a homeless woman, sitting on damp and wet cardboard, got up from her spot and came round behind. With a gentleness that belied her circumstances, she pulled back the flap of the bag and reached in for a small purse. She then handed to the woman in the wheelchair who said a really casual, "Thanks."
She went through her purse and found a handful of change and then reached it over and dropped it into the hand of the homeless woman. "It's cold out, slip in somewhere, have a coffee and get warm for a bit." The woman nodded, smiling. Then she was given the purse back and once again gently placed it in the wheelchair bag behind the chair.
They chatted for a bit as the homeless woman sat back down on her cardboard, then the woman in the wheelchair took off the scarf around her and handed it over. "I have a thousand scarves, I really don't need them all, please take this, it is so cold out." The homeless woman didn't protest, it was clear she needed the scarf, she took it put it around her neck and then accepted the compliment that it looked good on her.
They said goodbye and it was over.
That woman in the wheelchair gave a bit of money, a surplus scarf, but she gave much, much, much more.
I want to be like her.