Thursday, January 23, 2014

snow day minute

driving home from work on Tuesday, I passed a man walking in the snow... he didn't have a hat or a scarf, just alight coat and some ear buds.

and how many times have you been warned not to stop your car for strangers? and how many internet articles have you read about men preying on women by acting as if their car is broken down and they need help? and how many times have you passed by a scene like this one?

so, I drove on by...but the nagging feeling continued... and all the things that had been ingrained in me: the fear of rape, the "don't talk to strangers," the desire to get home after a long day began to conflict with my human compassion and my worry for this poor man (who had to be around my age) walking in the heavy snow--without proper clothing! I was in my car, and I was cold--what must he be feeling?

then, the light turned red.

well, I couldn't back up. But, I told myself if he reached me and the light hadn't turned, I would do it.

I purposefully did not turn right on red, although I could have, and I realized, I wanted him to reach me in time...

and he did.

I rolled down my window:

   "excuse me, sir?" old habits die hard... "would you like a ride?"

   taking out an ear bud and pausing mid-stride "no, thank you..."

   "are you sure? would you like my hat?" taking off my homemade hat and holding it out to him

    big smile (and I notice the British accent) "no, thank you. I'm just right up the road, really." 

   "ok...stay warm!" 

and I drove away smiling, waving at him at the crosswalk... and I was glad I rolled down my window, even if he didn't accept my offer(s)...because kindness is so under-valued and under-given in this world... and it really makes all the difference.

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