#18 – An Invisible Thread

It’s a book I read.  I read it in the summertime actually. I’ve been taking advantage of some Christmas vacation days to catch the blog up to real life time.  Here’s a little something…

There’s an ancient Chinese proverb that says, “An invisible thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place and circumstance.  The thread may stretch or tangle.  But it will never break.”  This book tells the story of the connection between the author, Laura Schroff and a little boy named Maurice.

In the 1980s, Laura was successfully working in the advertising business in Manhattan and admits that she barely noticed 11-year-old Maurice begging for money as she passed him on the street one day.  She said that his call for spare change, at first, seemed like nothing more than noise.  She said it was the kind of noise that New Yorkers learn to tune out.  She ignored him.  She kept on walking. Until something made her stop. Something made her go back to him and she took him to McDonald’s for dinner.  Then she went back a week later and took him to dinner again.  She went back again and again and what started as a weekly meal developed into a life-changing relationship for both Laura and Maurice, a connection that would last for decades and counting.

Throughout their meetings Laura learns the difficult details of Maurice’s life, living in poverty, surrounded by drugs and crime.  She buys him a watch so he will not be late for school, packs him lunches, takes him to baseball games, meets his teachers, does his laundry, worries about him, listens to him.  She becomes a sort of mentor/parent to him. Throughout the book, Laura also shares stories of her own childhood and how her relationship with Maurice expanded her family and happiness.

Something about acts of kindness always gets my attention.  I almost just called this a “random” act of kindness, but really that’s exactly the author’s point. She didn’t think her actions that first day were random at all.  She felt there was some force that drew she and Maurice together, that they were destined to meet, connected by one of those invisible threads. What if that’s true for all of our lives? I think it’s a nice thought – to imagine all those invisible threads connecting me to the people in my past, present and future.  It makes me think of lots of happiness and fun, family and friends and love and lessons learned. Plus it’s kind of exciting to think about who I’m connected to and haven’t even met yet! Do you believe that ancient Chinese proverb?  Either way, we definitely need more courage and kindness like Laura’s in this world. Read the book! Or at least go be kind to a stranger.  I’m going to try to.

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