I did a face-plant on Hill Street just after I had made my daily purchase at Starbucks. I don’t remember how or why I fell. I don’t remember tripping or bumping into anyone or anything. I just fell straight forward and my forehead hit the pavement. And yes, I spilled my grande iced coffee with three Splenda.
When I regained consciousness, two women were standing nearby. One was calling 911 on her cellphone. The other was asking me if there was anyone she could notify. Within several minutes, the Santa Monica police arrived, followed shortly thereafter by an EMT ambulance — and my wife. The two unidentified women remained behind until they felt that I was being well taken care of.
The police caringly checked out whether I had been victimized in any way and gently collected the necessary personal data. The EMT folks determined that I had to be transported to Saint John’s hospital to be checked out and to get some stitches. They treated me like I mattered to them. My wife supplied the love. I was taken care of immediately and appropriately at Saint John’s by professionals in the emergency room who were also caring individuals.
And that’s it. I was taken home to be fussed over, and that in itself was quite pleasant.
I think that I said thank you to all who were involved. My wife called the woman who had first notified her, just to say thanks.
This last week has been a terrible week in many ways for our country and for our world. But on a side street in Santa Monica, caring people reached out to a complete stranger in trouble and acted with humane concern. Reason enough to hold fast to our dreams that sanity can be restored in these troubled times. Acts of love can make all of the difference.
Rabbi Stanley M. Davids