The next morning, I braced myself against the cold wind as we wandered the famous streets of New York. My family and I had decided to do some serious shopping, since, hey, this is New York! My parents forked over five 20-dollar bills, and I took them very willingly, ready to spend it all. As we walked down the sidewalks, I saw many street performers all showing off their talents.
We continued a few blocks further when I heard the most beautiful tune winding its way through the crowd. I pulled my dad with me to find it, and was surprised to find it coming from a small, ten-year-old boy, playing a shiny oak violin. We stood and listened to the soothing, melodic Christmas tune, and I got a better look at him. He had curly, untidy hair and worn sneakers. His jacket was holey in places, and dirty in others, and the same with his jeans. His talent for the violin, though, made these seem almost invisible. He finished his piece, and I clapped enthusiastically. Some passerby threw quarters and dollar bills into his violin case, and I clutched the money in my pocket. Then, as if on instinct, I drew two twenties out and jogged up to the boy. I thrust the money into his hands with a smile and a cheery, “Merry Christmas!” Then ran off to join my family, not looking back at the boy, but hoping I made his day a happy one.
Suddenly, I felt a little lighter and happier, thinking that small gesture I made to someone I didn’t even know could bring me much more happiness than anything that I could buy for myself. As we walked out of shop after shop, I began to notice other people who were lying on the corners of sidewalks, looking defeated and tired. They rested on tattered blankets or cheap sleeping bags. Others sang, danced, or performed their special talent, hoping to make enough to eat that night. Happiness and compassion washed over me, and I started to unfold my five dollar bills. By the time the sunset appeared behind the Empire State Building, my pockets were empty – my heart full. Joyously gazing at the city skyline, I realized that trips and vacations aren’t just for personal enjoyment, but for spreading kindness in new places.