Warning: sappy, sentimental story alert! Today I had the greatest experience I’ve had in a very long time, and it was partially - if not significantly or entirely - due to a quote that Tammie Brown once said.
I was walking down the street on the way to the train station in Philly. I was about to cross the street to the station when I noticed a girl roughly the same age as me sitting against a building crying. She was keeping to herself and didn’t seem to be reaching out to other people for help of any kind. With the knowledge that I had 35 minutes to get my ticket, buy dinner, and board my train, (and knowing what the lines can be like during rush hour on a weekend), I began to simply walk past her. But then, somewhere in the back of my mind, my conscience adopted the voice of Tammie Brown and I recalled with crystal-like clarity the quote that she said: “That’s why we’ve got to be nice. The nicer we are, everybody else is going to be nice.”
I stopped in my tracks and had one of those really humbling moments, and I looked at the young woman. I simply couldn’t walk by without at least seeing if she was hurt or in need of some kind of help. I ignored the neurotic stick-to-the-schedule instincts that I was having and went up to the girl and asked her if she was okay. She explained that she had left her purse - containing her I.D., her wallet, her phone, etc - in a cab by accident when she was seeing her boyfriend off on a bus to the New York. The bus had left and she realized that she was stranded with no money and no phone to contact anyone to come pick her up. This had apparently all just really started to set in for her, so she was kind of freaking out. (Understandably so.)
I chatted with her about ways she might be able to track down her belongings and let her use my phone to make some calls. I stayed a little bit longer after she got off, just to make sure she was alright. I gave her my name and number, just in case she needed to call and talk to someone. I left and managed to make a mad dash to the station just in time to catch my train at the last minute. I was worried about her all evening, but later on I received this text from her: “Hi! :-) you helped me earlier at 30th street when I was crying. I got my things back. If it wasn’t for u I would not have pulled myself together. Thank you so much I love you.” It really just melted me to know how much I had impacted her. I replied and let her know I was glad she was alright.
I definitely think that this is a friendship that will continue. It was just one of the most humbling moments that really did make my heart completely melt. And, I realized, that had it not been for my conscience taking on Tammie Brown’s voice and telling me, “That’s why we’ve got to be nice,” I probably would have just kept on walking, never having met or spoken to this awesome person that I’m happy to now call a friend.
So, thanks Tammie, for providing truly sound advice, and being my own little voice of reason and humanity. You really are an incredible soul, and clearly your kind-hearted spirit is contagious! KABOOM! :-)