Everywhere I look, I see neighbor helping neighbor, stranger helping stranger. I experienced this within my first hour of arriving in the city, long before Hurricane Sandy impacted so many lives.
New Yorkers have the reputation of being rude. What I see are not rude people, but people in a hurry, in a constant state of motion. On the train, on the subway, in their cars, on the streets, in the stores, they scurry to and fro, fully involved in their lives. It is, in fact, their way of life.
Perhaps instead of the "I love New York" slogan, it should be "I'm not rude, I'm just a New Yorker in a hurry".
So yes, all this rushing about and the ensuing behaviors of brisk walking, lack of eye contact, constant horn honking, brief and blunt conversations... yes, yes, all this self-focus could easily be perceived as rudeness. But if you take the time to look beyond, to look deeper, to look in to the hearts and lives of these New Yorkers, to really listen to the stories they share, to really watch their actions, you'll see honesty, you'll see openness, you'll see generosity. You'll see a whole 'lotta heart!