Certain observations are timeless. These observations tend to cut experience to its essence. The following lines by Longfellow is one such observation

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footsteps on the sands of time.

Footsteps, that, perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwreck'd brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

In the phantom menace the following is said of Anakin Skywalker even as a boy

He gives without any thought of reward

For all of us there are individual things that make us get up every morning and make us strive and perhaps inspire us in their wake. And perhaps the sacrifices that went before us, of our parents, of those that loved us, are not invain and not only keep us on the path of humanity, but inspire in us the value of hardship, strife, and just being good and all this in an age that is ripe with frivolity and folly.

On friday I took my son for a medical check up that is due at the end of 3rd year. To see his cognitive functions etc. He did quite well..

Being a friday and a late appointment I was in a willing dispoistion to acceede to his usually uncharacteristic demands.

I took him to a Burger king on Philips, adjacent to the Avenues. Although almost 6 in the evening the place is sparse at best with customers.

I picked up his food and headed for the middle of the restaurant while most of the people sparsed around the windows and edges. Narayan wanted a table change to where other people are sitting.

With this new arrangement right behind me I hear two fairly advanced, both in age and perhaps in size as well, women and three children. Two girls, one about 9 and one about 15. The girls are bright and pretty. It was not a coincidence that Narayan picked this table, although he is only 3 and a few months.

Right across them sat a young man around 16 with a leg stretched into the aisle. He was small in stature and looked like any ungroomed 16 that is quite lost.

It didn't take long for Narayan to splatter the toy all over the floor. I was about to pick them up as I see a hand reaching Narayan with the pieces of the toy. It was a bit of a distance for a young man these days to unlazy himself and offer to help, and especially unsolicited and unexpected. Idleness, hanging pants, being cool and loose seem to be very much in praise. So this came as a surprise move.

I was fairly touched for a number of reasons. These days people fight so much for religion, race, and any difference in general. Surprising how this kid of 16 is able to put aside the obvious differences and instinctively help, these not only strangers, but unmistakenly foreigners.

I thanked him as much as I could. Later I took Narayan to the play area. Their 9 year old joined us. The slide is one of those 4 storied mazes. Although fascinated, Narayan was hesitant to go in there. I was a bit lazy and sat in the breeze leaving Narayan to figure out himself. Daniel, as I came to know his name later, came by and was telling his sister to help the my son and show him how to climb into the slide. Like any 9 year old she was shy and in no mood to cooperate.

I asked Daniel, what's wrong with his leg as I had noticed he was limping coming into the play area. He told me that in high school some kids roughed him up on the track and that tore his knee a little bit. And he told me his name is Daniel and he lives in St Augustine, and he is trying to get to a technical college to get a diploma in computer repair.

He then got up, with his unbendable leg, and took Narayan up the slide through that maze. They did that a few times.

Soon it was time for them to leave. I thanked him a lot and I saw them leave the restaurant. A few minutes past that I saw this old beat up chevy with 3 kids in the back and two oversized ladies in the front, and tires half sunk and windows down heading south on Philips highway.

I was thinking how did someone get to amass these virtues despite the difficult of circumstances. I see so many teenagers growing with no hope for themselves or for others.

Not victory, Not money, Not fortune, Not luck, but this act of humanity seem to have restored my spirit for the day.

Suddenlty Longfellow seemed to make sense.