A Woman of Kindness: A Face of America Commentary

By Tony Mussari
Copyright 2010
Mussari-Loftus Associates, LTD
The Face of America Project

Giving is the most powerful force on the planet
Dr Stephen Post  
I saw the face of America today in a place of great learning.

I saw the face of America today in a place of compassionate healing.
I saw he face of America today in a place where hope is as therapeutic as medicine.
Shortly after we arrived at the Stony Brook University Medical Center, Elisa Nelson greeted us with a smile.  She made us feel welcome. She made us feel at home.  She made us feel like we were members of the family.
She did this with actions, not words. She did this with a generosity of spirit that is nothing sort of inspirational.
This beautiful Face of America was born in Cuba.  In 1970, Elisa came to America with her parents who wanted freedom and opportunity.
During the challenging years of adjustment and transition, life was not easy, and sometimes life was not kind.
Shortly after her arrival here, her father left for California. He never returned.
Working together, mother and daughter made the most of the opportunities their new country afforded them.
Today, this woman of opportunity gives life to the words of Dr. Stephen Post the author of Why Good Things Happen to Good People. 
Both are employed at the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics.  Stephen is the Director, Elisa is his administrative assistant.
Stephen’s research is based on the premise “that for your own happiness and fulfillment it really is good to be good and science says so.”
To prove this, he need only look to the woman who occupies then office next door, Elisa Nelson.
She is a giver, a helper, a doer of good deeds.

In the time we were at the medical center, she helped us find a location for our shoot.  She helped us fix a problem with our tripod. She saw to it that we had a quiet place for our interview.  She made coffee for us. She introduced us to other staff members. She willingly shared her story with us. She volunteered to stamp our parking ticket.  She took us to the cafeteria for a bite to eat, and she walked with us to the parking garage where we exchanged warm farewells.
Elisa is proactive, thoughtful and helpful in all the ways that matter.  She is a woman of grace, dignity and humility who has mastered the art of selfless giving to others.  Her face of America is one we will never forget. 

Please provide feedback to: tmussari@gmail.com