Letter writer: The random act of simple compassion

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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
Asheville

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