— E.B. White
Once, on a rainy day early in spring, I had to take two suitcases on the Washington, D.C. metro by myself. I was dealing with the stress of moving, running late for an event I didn't really want to attend, feeling overwhelmed, and just generally having trouble being happy. We all have our days (right?). I rushed down the crowded sidewalk, my suitcases trundling precariously along the curb as I tried my best to weave in and out of the crowd. When I reached the metro station, I was out of breath and the escalator was out of order. I realized I wasn't sure where the elevator entrance was located. As I stood in the rain, bedraggled and exhausted, a man in a tuxedo walked up to me and smiled, said, "Let me help you," and picked up the larger of my suitcases. As he walked down the broken escalator, I noticed that he was accompanied by a woman in a wedding dress and a photographer. They had just gotten married and were taking some wedding photos downtown. I gave them a heartfelt thank you and congratulated them on their incredibly recent nuptials, then went on my way feeling decidedly more optimistic. I smiled at the other metro riders. I counted my blessings. I passed on the joy that had been passed to me.
I'm still amazed that this couple took time out of their wedding day, one of those few days in their life when no one would think less of them for forgetting all about improving the world and focusing simply on enjoying themselves, to help a complete stranger. But it was clear to me that they were happy to help. They multiplied their joy by sharing it with me. It turns out that you don't have to choose whether to improve the world or enjoy it; in fact, the very greatest enjoyment of the world is found in improving it.
Pain throws your heart to the ground - We all have our days.
Love turns the whole thing around - "Let me help you."
No, it won't all go the way it should - They were taking wedding photos downtown.
But I know the heart of life is good. - I passed on the joy that had been passed on to me.
Jennifer is a swimmer, macaron-lover, and French speaker. She has a real gift for seeing the excellence in every person she meets, and makes sure that she tells people what she sees. She is the kind of girl who does not shy away from things she doesn't understand, but instead puts forth all the energy she possesses to figure things out. Jennifer and I enjoy doing yoga together and baking things without recipes at all hours of the night.