The Kindness of Strangers

March 7th, 2010 — 11:58am

I’m at lunch yesterday with my son Jack. We look at the menu and as we’re about to order, I see it’s cash only. I don’t have enough for both of us to eat so I tell him to order and I’ll have tea. I’m fine with that.

A minute later, a woman comes over to me and says, “I couldn’t help but overhear you. Would $20 cover your lunch?”

I’m speechless. Jack is speechless. She says, “I know what it’s like to want to have lunch with your kid. Please, take it.”

I do. I write her a check. She tells me her name is Narda Zacchino. She is both beautiful and kind. This act of kindness leads to more talk. I learn she had been an editor at both the SF Chronicle and the LA Times. She’s now a fellow at the Annenberg School of Communications. With her was her husband, the political columnist Robert Scheer.

When our lunch comes, Jack says, “People are amazing. Even strangers.”

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