Peter Jones: Gratitude

Yan Krukau/via Pexels

Yan Krukau/via Pexels Yan Krukau/via Pexels

Published: 02-19-2024 1:54 PM

Last week, I drove to a meeting in Greenfield and stopped on the way for a sandwich at the Subway in Deerfield. When I received my order and tendered my credit card, the cashier told me my bill had been paid by the person in front of me. I was pleasantly surprised, but not shocked, since it had happened before, elsewhere, a couple of times.

There is a lot to like about living in our blessed community, as I have done for over 60 years. I am not a native, but one of the thousands of valley citizens who came here as college students and stayed.

I have good friends and benign acquaintances. I enjoy reasonably good health, have a warm, dry home, and plenty to eat. The weather is mild. Natural disasters are rare. No one is shooting at me, yet. There is plenty to do here. I lead a privileged life that others might envy.

Every day, I benefit from the good manners and kindness of the people around me. I walk slowly and have trouble managing stairs, but people are considerate and helpful. They open doors and hold them open for me. If I drop something, someone often picks it up for me.

Most of us have been subjected to indignities and danger by rude or aggressive drivers and I have, too. However, I am alive today because of the attentiveness, forbearance, and graciousness of other drivers, who pause to let me make a left turn, or stop to let me into traffic. I am grateful to pedestrians who, arriving at a crosswalk, stop to look both ways before proceeding.

I am also grateful for WHMP, New England Public Radio, the Smith College Music Department, and the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

Thank you all.

Peter Jones