The kindness of a stranger can make an impact on those not used to it. Example given is from yesterday. Parking in downtown Portland around 11th and Taylor, I approached the kiosk to punch in my time and credit card so as to receive the parking sticker to place on the car window. (Note to the city: thank you for the replacement machines that take credit card! Woot! Woot!) Another person parked nearby was returning to his car, and offered his sticker for the remaining time left. It was just enough time for us to take our visiting guest from out of the country to tour and visit Portland's amazing Central Library. I thanked the guy and put my credit card away, to put his sticker in my window, gracing us with almost two hours of parking time.
The look on our guests' face was classic. Shock, disbelief, and repeating that this would never happen in her country. I smiled and said that Portlanders were just like that. Her amazement continued for hours, and I know this story is one she'll carry with her back home. She said several times afterwards that people here are different.
I agree. They are. And it's a good reminder.
And as for the library? The look of amazement and awe around a room devoted to children's books, or the beautiful art on the stairs, or a periodical solely about African Violets!—I'm grateful to live in this city. Full of free books and the kindness of strangers to share their parking sticker.
Portland made me proud this weekend.