In 2013, business owner Maria Lopez was riding the 6 train in New York City when she witnessed a truly beautiful act of kindness.
Maria had been standing next to a flower vendor on the subway, watching the lady sell her colorful roses for a dollar each when a young man in a business suit approached. Maria thought he was going to haggle with the flower vendor and felt compelled to record the moment on her cell phone.
“I looked at this woman and I felt really connected to her,” Maria explained. “So I started shooting.” As Maria recorded the grainy, off-center footage on the bumpy train, the man asked the flower vendor about buying her roses.
“So, it would be 140 for everybody,” he says, pulling out his wallet and thumbing through the contents.
The flower vendor is clearly confused, still not guessing what he intends to do. After he pulls cash from his wallet and tells her he wants to buy the whole bunch for $140, she gives a shocked “ha!” sound and asks, “Are you serious?”
Not only was he serious, but he had one special request to add a cherry to the sundae: “You gotta do me a favor,” he tells the flower-seller. “You gotta give them out. Just give them to everybody, don’t sell any of them. Just give them away.”
“I promise,” the woman says with a shaking voice. Seconds later he got off the train and disappeared into the night. “He was like an angel,” Maria said. “He just disappeared.”
He leaves behind a shocked silence as people turn to look at the flower vendor. She holds a shaky hand to her heart and then bursts into tears.
“[I think] she started crying from the relief of someone actually being generous,” said Maria. “This one little gesture of humanity is so huge. It’s a testament to the lack of love and lack of generosity in the world. I think people are yearning for that.”
True to her promise, the flower vendor got herself together and began handing out the roses. Maria said it “changed the whole atmosphere of the train,” noting that it’s usually very tense. “It was this amazing sense of us all being human beings,” she added.
Maria is absolutely correct; people do crave reminders of the good that exists in the world. There are so many wonderful people like this “angel” out there, quietly doing their part to make the world a better place. Let’s all do our best to become one of the good people who bring color and joy into an often dark world.
Watch the stranger buying roses for the entire train in the video below, and don’t forget to share.
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