My car has had a series of problems. For starters, it needs a new engine valve, is running on three of its four cylinders, eats gas like the Cookie Monster eats cookies (or used to prior to him becoming healthy and now only eating them sometimes). It simply isn’t running like it should.
Today it ran out of gas, so I decided to take a walk to AMPM to put gas in the gas can I have. Sure, I could have called triple A and had them put gas in my car, but I didn’t feel like waiting. I didn’t have anywhere to go, so really there was no point in being in a hurry. AMPM wasn’t that far away, and though I was wearing pants, taking a walk seemed like the right thing to do. Maybe I wanted to prove my mankind. Maybe I just felt like getting off my lazy ass, I don’t know, but I walked.
While on my way back to my car, five minutes later and about 100 feet away from it, a man in a white pickup trick stopped with his wife and asked if I needed a lift. Shocked, I declined, thanked them, told them how much I appreciated it, and continued walking. Not a minute later, another car, this time a man in his mid-forty’s I assumed, stopped and asked if I needed a lift. Again, I declined.
Lately I have been doubting the kindness of others. It’s sort-of what happens when the man you love cheats on you, abandons you, uses you for money and drugs, blames you, and then makes you think maybe you are really at fault.
In terms of where I am in my life, I have been used an awful lot. In some ways I have known when I am being used, and it’s sad, but hasn’t bothered me too excessively. But it has truly hit me that simple compassion and kindness doesn’t exist in every person that walks the earth. Frankly I think it should.
My experience today, in getting gas and two strangers offering me a ride has left me dumbfounded. It was kind, simple as that. They had nothing to gain, and though I declined, their actions spoke volumes to the compassion some have for a stranger walking along the street.
It was beautiful, simple as that, and has inspired me to do what I am fairly good at: help others.