This, unfortunately is a not a story about kindness. It is not about kindness, it is not about unkindness, rather it is about nonkindness.
Last summer I was visiting a friend at his home in Gröbenzel Germany. We had decided to venture into the city of Munich, about a 15 minute train ride away. I, caught up in spooning down some delicious yogurt, had made us late to catch the train. We ran down the street to the Bahnhof station and there in the tunnel beneath the platform I was nonkind. I struggled to throw my wallet and my phone into my backpack while I headed to the stairs. I lifted my head up and as my foot caught the first step, I made eye contact with a beautiful woman. She sat directly across from the staircase. What caught my attention were her eyes. The kind of eyes surrounded by a fan wrinkles created through years of smiles, now worn heavy by a situation unknown to me. The kind of bottomless blue that isn't made just of color but of feeling. A feeling that makes you wonder the depth of her complexities, her struggles, and her pain. I found myself holding my breath, a moment that seemed to extend forever until, at the top of the stairs, my friend yelled down that I would miss the train. I rushed up the stairs and once more turned my head to look at this woman. In the cloth she had draped over her, I had overlooked, the she was carrying an infant. At the top of the stairs I gave my friend my credit card so he could pay for my ticket. She hadn't left my mind once. I grabbed ten euros out of my pocket, and I ran back down the stairs. In what seemed like an instant. She was gone. I had missed my chance and I was left feeling empty, ten euros in hand. I looked around hoping to see her, but she had disappeared into thin air. I will never forget the way I felt that day. My hesitancy had made me nonkind, I lost an opportunity to make a strangers day just a little bit easier. Whenever I feel hesitant I remember the story her eyes told me that day. The way I approach kindness has changed ever since.