Here is how I went slightly out of my way recently to accept a small gesture of kindness.

I had just bought a little chocolate fudge cupcake at the cupcake shop next to my bank. A postal worker, toting his sack, bought a cupcake right after I did. I thought he looked harried and hurried.

I ate most of my cupcake as I strolled leisurely out of the shop, heading first to the trash receptacle to deposit my little paper cupcake holder (you know, those things they serve cupcakes in). The mail carrier – who was clearly in a hurry, as I said – was already ahead of me on his way out, but he paused momentarily to hold the door open for me.

So I skipped my little detour to the trash receptacle in order to step through the door he held open, and to thank him. He nodded, and walked quickly away.

I sat down at a little table outside the cupcake shop, finished the final bite or two of my cupcake, wrote down this little account, and then stepped quickly back inside the cupcake shop to throw away my little paper cupcake holder.