With the constant stream of horrible (although important) news stories out there right now, I would like to share a story about a small community of strangers coming together for a good cause.
I was sitting in Tompkins Square Park when a few people nearby noticed that two boys were struggling to help their dog, who had chased an errant tennis ball and subsequently got its head lodged tightly underneath a spiked fence.
Within minutes, a crowd of ten people had gathered to try and help the owners rescue the dog. The crushing weight of the fence quickly became apparent as the dog, who remained relatively calm throughout, began to groan and audibly choke in the most heartbreaking notes.
The crowd swelled, and, after thirty minutes of various rescue attempts, the group had efficiently designated tasks to certain onlookers: two shirtless teenagers covered in tattoos ran to a nearby apartment to "get Manuel's wrench," a well-dressed older man called the fire department, and a toothless man with a bike, who kept yelling how much "it hurts to get your head stuck under a fence...it happened to me once," was to meet the firefighters and guide them to where the dog was.
Now, with fifty people gathered, including a few other dogs who had taken notice of the situation, the firefighters moved in. After a very tense few moments of anticipation, the dog jumped up from underneath the fence and shook with joy. The crowd erupted in a coordinated chant of "F-D-N-Y," as the firefighters took their turns petting the dog.
This crowd of absolutely random people instantly began to rely on one another to help these boys and their dog. As the crowd dispersed, I saw a young girl in the arms of her young mother, both crying out of obvious relief and happiness. Nearby, a homeless person, a yoga student/instructor, and that shirtless teenager now holding "Manuel's wrench," all stood around the dog, cheering together.
Humanity can be humane sometimes, too.