This summer, Beverly Wax had an experience that filled her with awe. It wasn’t a gorgeous sunset, a sweeping mountain vista or the sound of waves gently lapping on a beach that got to her.
It was the sight of her son Justin, 35 years old, lugging an 80-pound portable air conditioner up three flights of stairs to her Boston-area condo.
Ms. Wax’s central air conditioning had conked out the day before—in the middle of a 90-plus degree heat wave. She’d mentioned to her son that she was having trouble finding someone to come fix it quickly. He’d shown up with the new unit as a surprise.
As she watched her oldest child sweat and struggle while hauling the unit up the stairs and installing it in her bedroom, Ms. Wax says she felt a wave of gratitude and appreciation for her son. Then a funny thing happened—the feeling kept expanding, and soon she felt warm and fuzzy toward, well, everyone.
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