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Monday, May 6, 2013

The Kindness of Strangers

I find it humbling that I have benefited from the kindness of strangers more than once. This story is one instance that is pretty amazing to me. It's rather mundane, I suppose. But to me it was a miracle.

My wife Susan and I were parked outside of a major chain home supply store. We'd just finished shopping. I couldn't get the car started. The ignition would not turn over. The battery was probably dead. A few rows of cars away, there was a group of men, construction workers, one of whom saw us in our dilemma. How he knew what this dilemma was, or that we were stuck, I do not know. He came walking over to us. He was Hispanic, who knows, maybe an illegal alien, I don't know. He didn't speak English as far as I could tell. He motioned for me to get out of the car, which I did. He got in the driver's seat and stared at the dashboard. He turned the ignition key part way and looked closely at the instrument panel. I'm not sure what he was looking at, although I imagine he was looking at something to do with the battery. After thirty seconds or so, he leaned closer to the dashboard and, as if now was the right moment, he turned the ignition key and the engine started running. He got out of the car and in broken English told me I needed a new battery. He walked back to his group of men while I stood there dumbfounded. I got back into the car and drove directly to an auto-supply store. I've often wondered if this man was a real person or an angel. All I know for sure is that he was kind to me and my wife for no reason at all.

12 comments:

Tanya Reimer said...

Hee hee. Nice story. Loved it. Very magical. ;)

Julie Luek said...

I loved this story and how it demonstrates kindness beyond barriers.

Julia Hones said...

Lovely story, Richard. The kindness of strangers is the kind of kindness we encounter when we least expect it... and we need it the most.

Emily R. King said...

What a wonderful story. Your Good Samaritan made a difference, which goes to show anyone can!

Elise Fallson said...

Great story. Sometimes it doesn't take much. I've been stranded on the side of the road before and had complete strangers help me. I always remember that and try to help people in need if I can.

Maria said...

Hi Richard, you received, a random act of kindness, perhaps the man is naturally inclined that way...I like to think so. Seriously, I took part in something called
Random Act of Kindness - Pass it Forward several years ago.

It was brilliant! The idea being you go out every day, and do a random kind act for a complete stranger, anything from carrying someones shopping in from the car, to giving your all day car park ticket to another motorist.

Then, hopefully it makes the receiver want to commit a random act of kindness themselves.

Nothing is ever said at the time, it definitely enriches your life, and makes you feel good!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Sometimes the kindness of strangers can really take our breath away. You were lucky to have met that man.

Paula R C Readman said...

What a wonderful story. Brilliant. I hope something good happens to your angel too.

Sharon Bradshaw said...

It has to be one of the worst sounds in the world when the car battery goes flat. Glad your Good Samaritan came along when he did, Richard. The world is a nicer place when we experience the kindness of strangers.

J.L. Campbell said...

And it's that's kind of happening that restores our faith in each other. :)

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

What a lovely story. And what a wonderful reminder that so many people are so good at heart and we are surrounded by more helping hands that we realize. I have often benefited from the kindness of strangers throughout my life. Those small acts of kindness do make such a difference!

Charmaine Clancy said...

It's great when we come across people like this. I must admit I find so many people online who are generous with their knowledge and time. There's lots of good out there :)