Loved this passage, thank you for sharing it, and Jerry for writing it. I recently went on a long walk, about 50 miles over a few days. Along the way I came across a diversity of situations, including many opportunities for sadness and reverence at misfortunate circumstances.
One of those stories comes to mind: In the midst of a materially rich neighborhood, an older man stood in the meridian between two busy roads. He held a sign that read something like "anything helps" and had a forlorn yet somehow at-peace look on his face. I was intentionally traveling without money, so that wasn't an option to give, but another obvoius inspiration came to mind, which was to offer some grapefruits that I had earlier gleaned from a tree a few neighborhoods back.
From across the street, I made eye contact with the man and shouted across "do you like grapefruit?!" He didn't hear at first so my friend who was traveling with me pulled one out, held it up and pointed at it, smilingly, as I repeated "Do. You. Like. GRAPEFRUIT?" :) The man understood in a flash, and smiled and nodded. At the next red light, my friend and I crossed the street and offered a few grapefruits to the grateful man. It was a heartfelt connection, just for a moment. We all knew it wasn't meant to solve any long-term problem there, but I sensed we all valued the human connection for that brief time.
But what struck me most was what happened just outside of our little interaction: as we scampered back across the street before traffic started to move again I caught a glimpse of the faces in the car windshields, waiting at the red light. This one woman in her car had the sweetest smile on her face that spoke of both sadness for the situation and happiness for whitnessing that moment of joy. I think more than the interaction itself, that whitnessing, that reverence touched me.
And what a beautiful closing line: "With inspiration rippling through the collective, the heart of the world grows unalterably stronger."