What happened to me Saturday was nothing short of a miracle. I was riding the 1 train downtown in New York on my way to meet friends for dinner. I got onto the subway and plopped into an empty seat and uncharacteristically slipped the straps of my backpack off and leaned back against it. As I contemplated which stop was closer to my destination, at the last-minute, I chose to jump off at 59th street. Immediately, I was struck with horror, feeling lighter than I knew I should- my laptop and all my dissertation ideas were in that bag. I turned back to the train and banged on the doors, crying out, "Please stop the train! Please! Please! Please stop the train!" I banged on the train and pleaded but it pulled out of the station. An older gentleman pulled me from the train and said, "Stop you'll hurt yourself." In shock, I ran to the MTA agent behind the booth and pleaded with him to stop the train, mentioning that my laptop and all my belongings were inside. While he of course couldn't stop the train he began to radio the conductor on the train I had been on, as well as others.After many calls and much waiting, I heard someone had found my bag and let the conductor know they would return it to the closest station. Hope! The MTA agent assisting continued to try and track down my bag. I kept hoping it would turn up - and eventually went to the police precinct to file a report. At the precinct, I sat down and filled out a form, listing all the valuable items in my bag starting with my laptop. As I waited for the officer to complete his end of the paperwork, I fidgeted with my phone. Suddenly, I noticed I had gotten a new school e-mail with the title, "Found bag!" I screamed out to the officer - "Oh my god! Someone e-mailed me, he has my bag!" We were able to get in touch over the phone and two officers went to pick up my bag. Ten minutes later, the officers and another man walked into the precinct. The man who saved my laptop, was a graduate student at a local university. He said he saw me banging on the doors as the train pulled away. He had looked through my bag to figure out if he could return it, eventually found my student ID and that's how he got in touch.Let me just say, losing and getting anything back off a moving train is hard to imagine, losing a laptop and expecting to get it back - nearly impossible. But, there he was, the person who had taken the time and effort to get in touch with me via e-mail and twitter (he created an account just to tweet me). He explained that he felt bad when he saw that I had left my laptop and wanted to make sure I got it back. Amazing. Am-aaaaaa-zing!The evening was full of lessons about hope, kindness and empathy. From the man who kept me back from the train, to the MTA agent who orchestrated the search, to the police officers who took action, to the student who brought my backpack to me, I was shown much kindness and empathy and therefore, given much hope. As I recounted this to my professor yesterday, it occurred to me that I shouldn't be surprised. New York City is where I have experienced some of the most kind and humane acts amongst perfect strangers; many of them on the subway. But it's always nice to be reminded that the very notion of a "random act of kindness" exists because there are people who care about others in their community /society/world and are willing to take time to do something without expecting a thing in return, simply to be kind. That's inspiring. So thank you to all those kind people- you truly warmed my heart.