It happened last Saturday morning. We at the Uxbridge Cosmos newspaper had assembled on Maple Street. Our float needed a couple of last-minute touches, but we were ready and waiting for the parade to begin. I was looking for something else to do. I suddenly noticed a traffic jam at Maple and Centre Road. I thought maybe I could lend a hand. When I got there, I found a long line of southbound cars on Centre trying to get through the Santa Claus Parade floats. A woman in the first car I encountered rolled her window down.
“This kid,” she said pointing to her son in the back seat, “has to be at a music lesson downtown in six minutes. Get me through this.”
“Well, try this way,” I said as I directed her along Maple Street.
She followed my hand direction and raced up the street (we both hoped) to get her son to his music lesson on time. For the record, I have no idea whether my direction was a help or a hindrance. I just offered her a potential way out of the psychological and geographical gridlock she faced in that intersection. But I later remarked to my Cosmos colleagues how powerful I’d felt directing her through the traffic. [more…]