Alderman Dennis McBride represents Wauwatosa's 4th District. An attorney and graduate of Wauwatosa East High School, Ald. McBride strives to be an effective, thoughtful, and nonpartisan representative for his constituents and for his hometown.
As a boy, I always found it amusing when older women would say "Be an angel, would you?" when they wanted me to get something for them. It's a charming turn of phrase.
I've always been a bit skeptical about the existence of the angels that you see in books -- you know, the tall blond guys with big wings. But through the years, I've met a bunch of "Clarence Oddbody" types, regular folks who've helped me when I needed it most. A few times, the unexpected intervention of friends and strangers has been life-altering for me.
Sometimes the intervention is more mundane, but just as welcome. I often walk the 4.7 miles to work in the morning down Wisconsin Avenue from 70th Street to 4th Street. (I take the bus home.) Along the way, I meet all kinds of interesting people. Some avert their eyes, but there are always a few who wish me "a blessed day" or give me a hearty hello. Some of these angels are well dressed, and others are a bit shabby. But you can never judge a book by its cover. I'm most uplifted by good cheer from people who only have that to give.
In the Old and New Testaments, God and his angels sometimes appear to Abraham and others in human form. You never know when a person you meet is God's representative. Maybe we're being tested, just as Abraham was.
After my life-altering encounters with everyday angels, I've tried to be better about performing random acts of kindness or offering a hearty hello, whether or not my courtesy is reciprocated. I'm no angel, but I know that when I'm kind to someone, I get a lot of joy in return.
In these troubled times, there are a lot of folks who could use a good word or a kind act. For many reasons, we're all asking government to do less these days, but that means we'll have to perform more acts of charity on our own.
Be an angel, would you?