A Random Act of Kindness in the NYC Subway

A short and sweet story about how one person on the NYC subway made two complete strangers happy.

I am a busker (street performer) in the NYC subway. I was playing at the Times Square subway station when this happened.

There were a few people standing around me listening, including a blind man on my right. As I played, his face lit up. It was obvious he was enjoying what he was hearing.

On my left there was a woman who had nothing to do with the blind man. They were two strangers who happened to walk by me at the same time. The woman, too, noticed the joy on the blind man’s face.

She came over to me, purchased one of my CDs, went over to the blind man, put the CD in his hand and said: “This is the music you are listening to now. This is for you.”

She spent her own money to buy a present for a stranger!

To have my music be the impetus for such an extraordinary act of kindness—that was a priceless experience for me.

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Natalia Paruz

Natalia "Saw Lady" Paruz played the musical saw on TV, radio and movies such as Time Out of Mind with Richard Gere, HBO’s Emmy winner The Jinx, Fox Searchlight’s Another Earth, Dummy with Adrian Brody, American Carny, I Sell the Dead, Miss Stevens,  The Heart is a Drum Machine, etc. Natalia performed with many orchestras such as the Israel Philharmonic conducted by Zubin Mehta, the Westchester Philharmonic, Royal Air Moroccan Symphony, and at Lincoln Center with PDQ Bach. 2007 marked her Carnegie Hall debut and 2008 marked her Madison Square Garden debut. Visit her website at www.SawLady.com and watch this video of Natalia playing in the subway.

7 Responses

  1. Jason says:

    What an attentive and touching gesture on the part of this woman. As I wrote in response to another narrative in the ‘Kindness’ section: if only children around the world were taught that such simple actions of kindness and reciprocity should be the exception rather than the rule. And if we could have a socio-cultural system based more on cooperation than competition, in which money has been rendered defunct and monetary gifts are unnecessary. But we do what we can within the given parameters of any given moment. A heartwarming encounter, illustrating the automatic boons of unselfish kindness for both giver and receiver.

  2. I love this story! And I love the video of you playing that you’ve linked in your bio. What a unique sound! Thanks for being here, Natalia.

    • Natalia says:

      Thank you for your kind words, dear Vironika, and for giving me a platform here. I am slowly discovering the depths of this website – so many inspirational stories that make me think!

  3. Karin Sieger says:

    Such a simple, straight forward and beautiful act of kindness. But also your music is an a t of kindness, Natalia. Thank you for sharing. Best. Karin

    • Natalia says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Karin!
      When I play in the subway, of course people watch me, but I get to watch all the people. I’m not sure who gets the better show 🙂

  4. Devorah Fox says:

    Sweet! For your and your new fan.

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