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It is really easy to become cynical in the world today. And those who have the pleasure of seeing my bright and sunny side might say that I am a tad more cynical than the rest. And why not? I’ve spent the last 2 months being exiled from the United Kingdom due to some bureaucratic bullshit and sent halfway across the earth carrying papers in duplicate, triplicate and more photograph-sized photos than I care to recall.

So when I finally arrived in Los Angeles to get another copy of my passport done at the passport agency with only one day to complete my task I was a bit weary and tired. My appointment was at 8 AM and I was dropped of by Monte at the Federal Building on Whilshire. I queued up with all my documents in order.

At 8 am, a security guard comes out of the building and yells at everyone to line up against the wall. Then he yells to the growing line of folks — There are NO camera phones or cameras allowed in the building. If you have a camera phone or camera take them to your car. You will NOT be allowed in with these things and we WON’T hold them!!!

Great. I have a camera AND a camera phone. But I don’t have a car. I don’t have anyone with me. So I go and explain my situation to him. He tells me – “Not my problem. You can’t take them in.” At this point I have just traveled about 20 hours straight through Estonia, Belguim, England and the US to make my 8 am appointment. I ask what I am supposed to do. He tells me he doesn’t know but I can’t go in with them. I nearly cry. I start getting frantic and raise my voice a bit telling him I have just come to the US only for this specific purpose. He doesn’t give 2 shits less about what I am saying because – frankly – it isn’t his job to give a shit because he is a droid and driods only do as they are programmed.

I am about to really freak out. Or just throw my camera and phone into a bush and hope that it doesn’t get stolen.

Then a lady who has overheard my conversation approaches me. She tells me that her daughter is getting her passport done and she doesn’t mind holding my stuff for me while I go inside. And all I can think is how grateful I am to this stranger for offering assistance.

I go inside, I do my paperwork, I come out and the lady is there waiting for me. I thank her profusely. And I can’t help but smile and tell her 10,000 times thank you.

This act of kindness really touched me. People are amazing. It is so easy to forget that most days… Try it out for yourself. Try to help another person out – even in the smallest way – because you never know how it can make the world seem slightly brigher.

The other cute part of this story is that after the lady and her daughters have driven off smiling and waving goodbye to me I sat down on the curb and pulled out my camera. And I got another nice little surprise. The lady had taken a photo of her little girl with my camera…

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a smile a day

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