Something really amazing happened this week (aside from yoga teacher training).

On Tuesday, I was struggling with high anxiety numbers following my Monday Night group, and in anticipation for therapy that afternoon. My tummy didn’t feel well. On my way to therapy, I stopped at a McDonald’s to get a Sprite. The McDonald’s where I stopped was not, by any means, in a safe part of town. In fact, I would say, with confidence, that it is one of the worst parts of the city where I live. I was shaking and frazzled from my day and the anxiety, and I was really just hoping to make it in and out of McDonald’s without getting mugged. I ordered my Sprite and paid cash. The cashier handed me $3.92 back in change and gave me a cup. I stopped at a ledge near the soda machine to put my change in my wallet, and in the process I managed to drop all 92 cents on the ground. Coins scattered across the floor. A young, tall, African American male, with a black hoodie and Beats headphones, and a face without a smile, walked across the dining room, knelt down next to me, and helped me pick up my change. I thanked him profusely as I stuffed the coins into my wallet. I stood up and gathered my things, heading towards the soda machine. I heard his voice, “Excuse me, Miss,” as he handed me a dime that had rolled across the dining room. My eyes filled with tears as I thanked him again.

In the middle of one of the worst parts of town, as a lone white female, a minority, filled with anxiety over trauma memories and the lecture waiting for me in therapy that I was dreading, this man who didn’t know anything about me extended so much compassion. He acknowledged my existence and went out of his way to help me when I needed it. Life is not about race or background or religious beliefs. Life is about extending compassion to those around you.