Glancing at the side driver’s rearview mirror, I noticed a yellow banana sitting on the mirror of the pickup truck behind me. The light ahead remained red and I found myself watching the image.
Bananas may grow on trees, but the gesture behind the banana reminded me of the hidden acts of kindness in the world.
Looking at my center rearview mirror the lights on the white pickup truck behind me flashed on and off – repeating the pattern twice. Knowing I was sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic, I didn’t know what the driver was trying to communicate.
Then the banana’s purpose came into focus.
A man, walking against traffic, passed my driver’s side window. Stopping at the truck behind me, he gratefully accepted the banana from the man in the truck and a few dollars passed. They briefly spoke and shared a smile.
It is moments like this that remind me the world is going to be okay, that good is waiting to get out and make a difference.
This can be a rather self-centered world. Social media feeds our thirst to put ourselves in the center of the universe, society fawns over celebrities who are famous for simply being famous, and we dismiss tragedies with the casual thumb stroke on the newsfeed of our cell phone screens.
Fortunately, there are still people who look outward, stubbornly focusing on others in the world around them. It may seem old-fashioned to some, but our instinctive kindness to others is what the world needs most now.
For days now I have not been able to shake the image of the yellow banana in the rearview mirror and the hand reaching from out of view to accepted it. Behind the exchange was a beautiful under-the-radar moment of humanity. I feel as if God wanted me to see this as a reminder that I, too, can make a positive difference in the world around me with most humble of actions.
You do not have to be a billionaire to change the world. Most of us have been blessed with more material items than we can ever use of need. If you don’t believe this open a random closet in your home. For most, we’ll find shirts we’ve not worn in a year, shoes that have not left the house in months, and a scarf we are saving for the one day a cold front that never arrives. But for the most part, the items sit under our roof taking up space and not doing anyone any good.
I read of how in cities people will take old winter coats and tie the arms together around a utility pole for someone in need to take. The gesture is painless and heartfelt. A cold night can mean life or death to someone living on the streets.
The light changed, the banana is gone, and I pulled forward. The fruit, however, planted a seed to never forget to make a difference in the world.