Every morning I walk west down 35th to get to my morning coffee and almost every day I see the same old man walking towards me. It doesn’t matter the weather; he is always making his way towards 5th Avenue. He must be at least 85. He is maybe 5′ 5″ tall, hunched over with a cane in his right hand helping him as he moves. He walks heel to toe and it must take him fifteen minutes to get from 6th Avenue to 5th. It might take me 3 minutes. He often carries a black grocery bag in his other hand and his face is resolute and unchanging regardless of the temperature or precipitation.
I admire this man. I have no idea of his past or where he is going. Is he or was he married? Does he have children? Is he American or from Europe? Was he in the war? It doesn’t matter because seeing the concentration and purpose in this man’s movement inspires me to look forward each day. To witness such persistence is inspiring. My hope is that when I am that man, I have as much purpose and persistence in my journey as he does.