What is the smallest thing a person ever did for you that impacted your life?


获得17.5k好评的回答@Gail S Clark:

He gave me a chunk of glass.

My husband was killed on 9/11; he worked in 1 WTC, well above the impact floors. On his birthday in March, 2002, I went to the site that used to be the WTC. It wasn’t cleaned up yet, in fact it was ugly as hell and smelled about the same, and access was still pretty chaotic. I got to the Century 21 department store across the street, and stood against the wall - and just crumbled. Broke down.

A guy who was working across the street at the site - which was still a full-on disaster area - saw me and came across. “Who did you lose?” he asked. “My husband,” I said, through ugly tears, and I told the guy what firm my husband had worked for, and that it was his birthday.

Guy turned out to be a firefighter. Reached into his front pocket. “This is actually really rare. Not a lot of glass survived; it just vaporized.” And he pressed it into my hand.

I still have it. It’s not that the guy was giving up a valuable souvenir. It was that he was acknowledging my connection to that little piece of glass, and putting it where he thought it belonged - that, and he needed to give me something that in some small way I could hold onto and focus on, instead of the hurt. This was how he could do that in that one moment.

I was so bound up in my own head I never even asked his name; he didn’t ask mine either. If he’s out there now, I want to tell him that the little piece of glass made me start to think that maybe everything wasn’t transient, ephemeral - that maybe there were things, little things, short moments, small pieces, that last no matter what.

I want to say to him: thanks for that.