no greater love



This morning I was thinking about something seemingly unremarkable that I observed in my neighborhood about two weeks ago. I told my wife about it the other day.

I live in what would probably be called a working class residential neighborhood in New York City. On a recent Sunday morning, I was walking to a store about four blocks from my home to run an errand.

I like to people watch; however, there were few people out and about at the time. I sort of half noticed a woman who I would guess was in her thirties standing on a street corner, across the street from me, with a daughter who looked to be about eight. They were in front of St. Stanislaus Kostka Roman Catholic Church (known locally as St. Stan’s).

Suddenly, the girl broke free, as it were, from her mother and started running headlong down the block. I then noticed out of the corner of my eye a sixtiesh woman walking towards the girl and her mother, which was across the street and in the opposite direction from me.

“Grandma!” the girl shouted joyously, almost crying out of joy (as her quaking voice revealed). She leaped into her grandmother’s arms, buried her head, and clung to her grandmother — it was bowed as she leaned against her.

Her mother was smiling. The grandmother was overcome. Granddaughter and grandmother stood there hugging one another tightly as the mother approached and joined them.

Surely, I thought, then (inchoately) and shortly thereafter (reflecting upon the scene I had witnessed), such love — innocent, genuine, heartfelt, unspoiled — confounds philosophy.



— Roger W. Smith

    August 2017

About Roger W. Smith

Roger W. Smith is a writer and independent scholar based in New York City. His experience includes freelance writing and editing, business writing, book reviewing, and the teaching of writing and literature as an adjunct professor. Mr. Smith's interests include personal essays and opinion pieces; American and world literature; culture, especially books and reading; classical music; current issues that involve social, moral, and philosophical views; and experiences of daily living from a ground level perspective. Besides (1), a personal site, he also hosts websites devoted to (2) the author Theodore Dreiser and (3) to the sociologist and social philosopher Pitirim A. Sorokin.
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2 Responses to no greater love

  1. Tom Riggio says:

    Lovely observation.

  2. Very kind words, Tom. Much appreciated. When it happened, it was kind of like a religious experience. Something you wouldn’t expect to see.

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