A couple of weeks ago, I gave someone a ride and she shared the following story with me.
The person in this story is just a "regular" Jewish person. Not someone anyone knows as exceptional. Though what he did was exceptional. And inspiring.
This woman takes two buses every day to get to her job. Every day she noticed a man who took the same route as her...But his face was in his tehillim throughout the entire ride. They never exchanged as much as a hello. When they'd get off the first bus, she'd get off in the back and he in the front. They waited at the same stop for the next bus and he'd be saying tehillim the whole time. She was sure he never noticed her. One day, as she came off the first bus, she saw that the next bus already pulled up and was waiting for her! She couldn't believe it. This guy, who never even looked at her and she was sure didn't know she existed, had the bus wait for her to get on.
THAT is called middos.
Looking out for other people, doing chessed quietly, helping others in small ways. All these little acts are so big. Why? Because it shows what is going on in the person's mind. They aren't just doing one isolated nice act of kindness. It shows that this person is on the lookout for good deeds. Doing chessed is part of their being.
It seemed like this man didn't pay attention to the woman who took the same route as her each day. He was busy saying tehillim. (No, he wasn't busy on his phone. Is this a rarity?) But somewhere, in the corner of his eye, in the corner of his soul, he noticed and grabbed the opportunity to do a tiny chessed. Which is huge on so many levels. He made a kiddush Hashem, he saved her from the frustration of juust missing a bus and having to wait for another one, he saved her time and gave her an inner peace-menuchas hanefesh along with a wonderful feeling inside...knowing she belongs to such an incredible nation, the Jewish People.
May this story serve as an inspiration that yes, there are good people out there, people who are simply good and looking out to spread the light of the Jewish People. And may this story inspire us to look out for other people, notice what they need and help them.
May opportunities for acts of kindness come your way and may you be able to be on the giving end of chessed always!