Letter writer: The random act of simple compassion

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Asheville is my chosen heart-home. We are a city of individualists, believing we are all dreamers and change makers for good. Passing in the street, there is always eye contact and a smile. And even riding our public transportation, stranger is extending comfort to stranger.

I am often flooded with joy at being able to bear witness to these daily unsung acts of compassion.

And I have been the recipient of such acts of kindness.

As a wheelchair rider, I deal daily with sidewalks that have compromised safe width space. I have often thought of writing a humorous blog on the adventures of being stuck in plain sight!

One was on Hiawassee [Street] going down to Lexington [Avenue] from Broadway. At almost the corner of Lex and Hiawassee, a pole appeared taking up the sidewalk space! There was not a curb cutout or a way to back up. I sat there stymied. What should I do?

Then, Asheville magic happened — first one person, then another, then another, until there were seven people around me. They literally carried the wheelchair to safety. Complete strangers, a universe of different backgrounds and colors, united in helping. Then they disappeared.

Blessings happening! Love, is the answer.

Thank you, Asheville!

— Ariel Harris


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Letters
We want to hear from you! Send your letters and commentary to letters@mountainx.com

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.