Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The pondering of people

Recently, as we sat along the side of the road, working on our van, there was a bit of time to "people watch".  It was storming, wet, cold and dark.  We didn't mind, the van issue was caused by wet, slushy roads, we knew what to do and had the basics to get it done.  We were in a metro area, and knew roughly where we were, but not exactly which town we were in and couldn't see a gas station.  Those things weren't a problem, but did make it a little more interesting wondering if we would be miserable before the fix could be completed. 

We hear so much about the cynical nature of people lately.  "No one stops to help anyone anymore" or "they always just drive on by".   Being in a metro area, we surely expected to sit and just watch people drive by.  We quickly realized that we were in an area that is mostly immigrants and it was a very busy corner.  It took maybe 10 minutes for the first car to stop.  The young man was smiling and eager to help, even though his English was difficult to understand.  He offered to give us a jump.  I had to politely inform him we were fine, but he was glad to offer.  He went on his way and it was a short time later when the second one stopped.  It was a couple of young ladies in their silk head coverings and sandals.  They offered help as well.  I assured them we were good, they were free to go.  They insisted they could help.  I just couldn't imagine how in 6 inches of wet fluffy snow that they could help, but they were eager to reach out to us.  I sent them on their way, showed them we had the tools and a flashlight, and they smiled and obliged.  It wasn't long before another stopped and again offered help.  It was pretty amazing that we were there for about an hour and had 4 people stop.   

I can't help but to wonder what sparked this train of good will.  Was it their background?  Did someone help them and they wanted to return the kindness?  Did they feel bad for us because of the cold weather?  Was it just human nature and empathy?    Or was it just because humanity isn't as bad as most people like to think?  I don't care.  I know that total strangers were willing to help.  I admit, I did laugh a bit when I asked hubby if the ones who offered really could have helped since they all offered a jump while we were sitting there with our lights on quite strongly, but their skills weren't the point.  It was their heart.  And they all shared a little piece of it with us.  What a refreshing thing to see!


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