In this iPhone app on productivity, one of the daily tasks I set up for myself is to “Help a stranger.” I’m starting to see that this app is not so much about productivity for me as it is about changing my daily habits and creating “good” ones.
Therefore, I’m walking along 14th St. right now, between Seventh and Sixth Avenues, being mindful of who I might help. Or perhaps I should say “whom.”
Today has been unseasonably warm but not uncomfortable. The sky and air at 6:15pm is a pastel bubble bath. Each of us walking along is swimming in comfort, splashing the water and smiling and taking two more minutes than our mother’s warning of “two more minutes.” It would not surprise me if there were no homicides in the city today. It would not surprise me if there were no strangers to help. There is an almost shared sense of well-being coursing along 14th Street and up and down the avenues, and we are like fish swimming lazily in those streams, not caring that the red countdown clock at the crosswalk is approaching zero. Uncharacteristically I stop when the count is at 9. I could have made it. Easily.
But, then, why?