I am honored to have been the recipient of both kindness and cruelty during the course of events that have unfolded since my car accident as both attributes have the potential to build character. But this is the first time someone so unfamiliar had impacted me so completely. I suppose the act itself can be to a certain extent quantified - except that in all the ways that affect me most, it simply cannot be measured.
Another thing I find pleasantly puzzling about this encounter: At some point during this prolonged encounter, it became obvious that the giver and the receiver had shared in similar experiences. In fact, we shared this much with each other. What makes the encounter both strange and natural, however, is that the totality of what was shared - especially preceding the acts of compassion - compiled so few words.
To this individual, how grateful I am the choice was made once upon a time to forsake the temptation to respond to a trial with bitterness and accept the challenge and opportunity to grow by consciously softening the heart. That decision led thought by thought, feeling by feeling, act by act, until eventually two not-so-dissimilar strangers met and shared what they could to provide one another with the compassion straight from the heart.
To those who will no doubt be affected for good by this individual in the future, may you strive to make similar choices that the compassion may be shared and made all the more sweet.