Commentary

A Parking Receipt and Solidarity

photoSince August 19, I’ve carried around with me a crumpled parking Muni-Meter receipt.

Here’s why.  I was pulling into a parking space on 41st Street near Madison Avenue in Manhattan about 8:00 p.m.

I’m just about to get out of the car when another car – an SUV with two women in it – pulls up next to me and signals me to roll down the window.

I do so and the person in the passenger seat hands a parking meter receipt with two hours remaining on the meter.

She simply says, “It’s got 2 hours left; we thought you could use it.”
A bit surprised, I say a simple “thank-you” and smile at one more “random act of kindness.”

It should be irrelevant and not necessary to mention that I am white and my parking-receipt donors were African-American.  But I do so because we are painfully reminded that race is very much part of our American experience even to this day.

Sharing a parking receipt is not going to create world peace nor eliminate poverty.  Yet this simple expression of human kindness and solidarity makes me feel better.

Maybe if a few more of us followed this example our communities and world would be in much better shape.

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