Henry opened the door to the lobby for the old lady. She was neatly dressed, lightly perfumed, recently to a salon and serene in appearance.
She smiled. “Thank you, young man.”
He walked faster than she did and got to the open elevator door. He stepped in, turned as he was about to push the button for his floor, and noticed the old lady was walking toward the elevator also. He held the door for her.
“Thank you again,” she smiled.
“What floor,” Henry asked.
“12th,” the old lady said.
Henry pushed 12.
“You are so kind,” the old lady said.
“I suppose you find that people aren’t as polite as they used to be, there‘s a lot of rudeness nowadays,” Henry said as the elevator slowly moved up.
She smiled. “You have been very kind to me this morning, may I share a kindness with you?”
“I’d like that,” Henry said.
“A long time ago I used to think the same thing,” she said, “and I began to count the acts of kindness compared to the acts of rudeness. To my surprise when I looked for kindness I found it. In fact, it outnumbered rudeness 10 to 1. I just rechecked my figures a couple of days ago and nothing has changed.”
“Thank you,” Henry said.
“Here’s where I get off,” she said. “Have a nice day, young man.”
“You too, ma’am,” Henry said, “and by the way that’s kindness, one and rudeness, zero.”