On Sunday afternoon in Houston we went for a walk, which we capped off with a stop for iced coffee. This activity is as much a part of our routine when we're together as brushing our teeth is. Whether it be post run in the morning or an afternoon treat, where there are two or more Bibers, there is a walk and an iced coffee.
It combines everything we need to feel connected and happy: time outside, the chance to move and undistracted conversation. Some people love to sit across from one another in plush chairs with a steaming mug of coffee. We, however, prefer our Joe over ice and with a side of movement.
On Sunday, our standard walk took a slightly different turn when Court suggested we walk one block up to a nicer side street, instead of the busier road we were on. The houses are big, the lawns are manicured, the roads are empty - it's our jam.
When we turned down the street we saw an elderly man that had fallen out of his wheelchair and was curled up in someone else's lawn. He was in hospital scrubs and had orthopedic shoes on both feet. We weren't quite sure what was going on, but we were sure he wasn't in the right spot.
We stopped to help him, at which point Ryan made sure he was still breathing and called 911. From there, no less than seven people stopped to help. Cars were pulling over, walkers were rushing across the street, people were coming from every direction to make sure he was OK. And, because I felt pretty useless next to Ry, instead of watching the man on the ground, I paid much closer attention to everyone stopping to help. And I felt a lot silly, but it almost brought tears to my eyes. Because it reminded me that people are good.
Yes, people are busy. And sometimes selfish. And life can be chaotic and make us rush by one another. But on this street corner in Court's neighborhood, I was reminded that when it's all said and done, people, at their deepest level, really are so good.
And sometimes when I have these moments where I remember just how good people are, it takes my breath away.
When I flew back Monday, there was an older man sitting next to me. He couldn't speak English, but as I was struggling to balance my drink and laptop on my tiny tray table, he tapped my cup, then tapped his table. I smiled at him and said thank you, while putting my cup down. He then started beaming and tapped himself and said, smiling big: Taiwan. After that, he got out his passport and pointed to his home town. I tried to ask him if that's where he was going, but he didn't understand. So instead I just gave him a big smile and a thumbs up, which he returned with a bigger smile and an even bigger thumbs up.
And for the second day in a row, it warmed me up all the way to my core - reminding me that I might not feel like this world makes sense every day. I will make mistakes and rush by life too quickly. But if we take the chance to help people when we can, connect with one another in even the unlikliest of scenarios, and be the best version of ourselves as possible, then we can make the world a little bit warmer. Even while drinking our coffee iced.