I am in Austin for a couple of days at the annual Texas Association of School Administrators Midwinter Conference. Austin suffers from severe traffic congestion, and now with the legislature in session, plus a thousand school superintendents and about twice that many more other administrators the problem is magnified. This afternoon it took more than twenty minutes to drive the mile from the convention center to my hotel. People were typically impatient and seemed to all be in a hurry to get where they were going.
As I pulled up to the light at my exit, there was a lady walking from car to car with a sign asking for money. As she came near, I made eye contact with her and smiled. I have taken a cue from Larry James, and for the last several months I always try to acknowledge people that I encounter. In the past, I would have just averted my eyes and hope she would pass on by.
She started to pass by, then backed up and motioned for me to roll down my window. She said, "I have been standing on this corner for over two hours, and you are the first person I have seen smile. I just wanted to thank you for smiling and tell you to have a blessed day." What must it be like to go through life and not see a smile? To encounter people who try to avoid acknowledging your existance?
As you have done to the least of these....