On my way in to work today, I saw two men stooping to help a woman collect the contents of her spilled knapsack. One of the men, big and burly and be-sweatshirted, said the following: "You know what they say about 2007? That it's going to be the year of perfection. Everything's going to be alright." On the train, a woman was reading a paper; on the cover: 'WEEK OF HEROES'. Stories of the city's heroes have even made it to The Guardian. It's what every New Yorker should do, says the man reluctant to be called hero. "Good things happen when you do good."
It should be more common here. I once helped an older man navigate a sloping ice-covered curb by offering him my hand, and he took it with joy on the verge of tears, as if never in his life had he heard of something so wonderful as someone offering a hand to a stranger.