My handbag was swiped, my watchband broke, my beloved new iPhone is gone. As a result, I’ve been living this last week without much sense of time and with no money of my own, and somehow it is alright. I marvel at the kindness of family, friends and strangers who’ve leaned in altruistically to help. One man (in the church coffee shop where my bag vanished) offered me $15 to get home, others offered their phones to make calls, a coffee, a shoulder to lean on. My brother ditched his afternoon plans to come over and help change the locks on my parents house (I also lost their keys). In losing a few things, I’ve witnessed again the bountiful kindness around me.
This past week’s experience made me think of what it must have been like for the Peace Pilgrim, a woman who lived for nearly 30 years on the kindness of strangers. She owned nothing, never had any money, slept rough and only ate when people offered her food. She walked repeatedly back and forth across America, campaigning for global peace. She lived to be 73. Ironically she was killed in a car crash, on a rare occasion when she accepted a lift to a speaking engagement.