The kindness of strangers
My son Sam is 16 and autistic (患自闭症的). There’s a lot going on in that beautiful and brilliant mind of his, but even on a good day he can be very easily overwhelmed (不知所措的). Throw in some diagnosed (诊断的) anxiety, an inability to read social cues (信号) and an unexpected change to his daily routine, and you have the recipe for a very public meltdown.
It was Sam’s very first day at high school. We’d set up a plan for how he’d get home: I’d pick him up outside the shop near his school at 3:30 pm and I believed this was a perfect plan.
Unknown to me, very bad weather was on its way, and I was running late. But because of his dead phone battery, I was unable to communicate that to him. As a result, he was left alone and extremely frightened. From there he became very upset outside the shop, exactly where I’d told him to wait.
This was when a beautiful old Vietnamese lady not only went to check on him, but took him inside her shop, calmed him down, got my phone number from him and called me.
Five years later he continues to go into her shop every afternoon, buy a drink, have a chat and she sends him home with enough bread and rolls to feed a small nation.
Sam graduates this year, and I’m increasingly feeling the need to drop by the shop to let this wonderful lady know that she saved Sam, and that she saved me. I’m not sure if I can communicate all of this, but at least I will get to thank her.
There are people I will not get to thank, though – the many kind strangers who have been there for Sam. And believe me, if you’re wondering if this world is a complete mess right now, I’m here to say that it is not.
So I guess this is a love letter to those of you who have helped a stranger out of the goodness of your heart. Please know you are appreciated, that your beautiful heart and kindness are appreciated, and that, perhaps unknowingly, you have made a great difference in someone’s life.
the recipe for sth：if you say that sth is a recipe for a particular situation, you mean that it is likely to result in that situation ……的原因 （recipe本意为“食谱”，请体会这两种意思间的关联）What’s her recipe for success?
meltdown n. a sudden and complete failure of a company, organization, or system 彻底垮台，崩溃The stock market crash might lead to financial meltdown.
check on: make sure that sb or sth is safe, is in a satisfactory state, or is doing what they should be doing 察看，检查（是否一切正常）I’ll just go and check on the children.
be there (for sb) :be always ready to help someone when they need help 帮助（某人），支持（某人）That’s what I loved about my father – he was always there for me.
appreciate:vt. be grateful for sth that sb has done 感激I would appreciate it if you paid in cash.