Back when I was covering baseball, I met far too many players who judged a person’s character by personal interactions. This was particularly true with Barry Bonds. I’d ask a Giant what he thought of the slugger, and he’d inevitably say, “He’s always been good to me, and that’s what counts.”
You don’t judge a person by how he treats you. You judge a person by how he treats others. By empathy. By compassion. By decency. By going out of his way to help, when it’s not required.
By these measurements, my wife is the queen of good.
A little more than a week ago, friends of ours in New Jersey had a baby. It’s their second child, and they were surely (as we all are come newbies) overwhelmed. “What do you think,” the wife said to me, “if I go down for the weekend and help out?”
“Go for it,” i said.
That’s what she did. Over the past couple of days, my wife cooked and cleaned and babysat and spent all her awake hours assisting our friends. When she left, she made certain to leave behind a final prepared meal. Just, well, because.
The beauty of it all—there’s no ego here; no need to be thanked or acknowledged. I’m married to a person who helps because she wanted to help. Really, because she wants to make life easier and more joyful for others. I aspire to this sort of goodness, but generally fall short. Hell, I almost always fall short.
Luckily, I married an angel.