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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

On Trusting the Universe and the Kindness of Strangers.


Last night was an interesting lesson in trusting the Universe and believing in the good in Humanity, and I wanted to share some of the story with folks.

My boyfriend and I made an abortive attempt at acquiring this week's groceries (technical difficulties involving banks and accessible funds that weren't discovered until the checkout counter), which was followed by running out of gas in the middle of Backwoods Nowheresville, on  a stretch of road where there were NO streetlamps.  At something like quarter to ten at night.  (Is it me, or does this whole situation seriously read like either a bad 50's sitcom, or the opening scene to some B-rated horror movie?)

As the car coasted to a stop on the side of the road, I may have started with the hysterical laughter.  Yes, my stress reaction default tends to be to start laughing.  It's rather unfortunate and has annoyed a number of people who don't get atypical stress responses.  After waiting a couple of minutes to see if someone might stop, the boy decided to start the long-ass hike back towards civilization in the quest for gas.  Having a bad knee, I opted to wait with the car until he got back.  He started walking, and I started doing some breathing exercises to calm down, and asked the PTB (Powers That Be) to please make Themselves useful and send some kind of help.  

A couple of minutes later, a sweet couple stopped and asked if they could help.  I explained the situation and it turns out they were actually on their way to the same gas station that the boy was walking towards.  They drove off, picked him up, and within 20 minutes dropped him off with a small container of gas.  (A couple of other people also stopped in the meantime, though by then the situation was being worked out.)

What do I take from this?  I could dwell on the negative aspects and bemoan my shit-tastic luck - the embarrassment of not being able to pay for groceries, the sucktastic timing of the vehicle keeling over in the middle of fucking nowhere, the fact that this is not the first time things like this have happened - but I don't want to.  Instead, I choose to focus on the good.  In a world where the media is constantly hyping the bad things that folks do, trying to convince us that strangers are evil and no one helps anyone, I sat on the side of the road for 15 whole minutes before someone stopped and helped.  They could have kept driving.  They could have driven right past the boy, who would have had to walk several miles to get to the gas station.  Instead they stopped, then actively chose to pick up a strange man walking a dark road late at night, and give him a ride.  This morning, after reading a post I'd made in a private forum elsewhere about it last night (whiskey may have been involved...it was a rough night), a friend generously helped make sure that this little rocky patch goes a little more smoothly, all unasked, for which I am immensely grateful.

People do still stop to help others.  People are still kind.  People are not out only for themselves, stepping on the less fortunate.  Sure there may be some who do, but they are not the norm.  Most people are good, and kind, and generous, and just plain decent folk.  I honestly feel that if we trust that these things are true, our experiences will be much better in the long run.  Not saying bad shit's not gonna keep happening, because well, I'm American-Irish, and we've got a saying that runs "If it wasn't for bad luck, the Irish would have no luck at all".  Shit's gonna happen, one way or the other.  It goes a lot easier, though, if we trust that good folks will be there to help us when we need it, and in return we do what we can to repay the kindness.  Maybe not to them directly, but the next time we see someone who needs a hand, we offer it.

I don't know what world the media writers live in, but I'm glad that I live in a world where strangers still stop to help those that need it.  I think the world would be a much better place if more people would decide to live in this world, too.

A little something to think about.


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