A couple of week ago, I broke a bone in my foot and so I had to hobble around with a cane for
several days. What was pleasant about this otherwise painful experience was the way I was
treated by everyone. People opened doors for me, helped me into my car, and gave me their seats in
All of this unexpected kind treatment tempted me to keep using the cane longer that I had to. My
spirit blossomed under this kind public treatment. And yet, the moment I laid aside this
symbol of my weakness, people returned to their old pushing and jostling selves.
It occurred to me that everybody has some sort of broken bone somewhere, even if it cannot be seen.
No physical bones, of course, but emotional ones… which are just as frail and tender.
There have been many days when I needed more consideration than the days when I carried the
cane… when my mind was troubled and my emotions upset, but no one knew or seemed to care. That
little broken bone was a very minor injury, but it had opened a floodgate of human sympathy.
It could be a fruitful experience for us to take a day off once in a while, and treat every person
we meet as if his/her foot were bandaged.