Sometimes, the world gets you down. Every day we hear of new shootings, stabbings, bombings, hate crimes. It seems everywhere we turn, there is political dissent, unrest, dissatisfaction, and anger. People cut you off in traffic, break into a parked car, or lie in their online dating profiles.
But then, there are other days that give me hope.
Let me start by saying, if you pay for a parking pass, probably don’t ever remove it. Even if you think you’ll remember to put it back. Because you won’t. (or is that just me?)
So I went somewhere and cannot recall why at the moment but I took down my hanging parking pass. Just for the day. I swear I will put it back up on Monday.
Nope, totally forgot it at home.
I do pay for it, and am allowed to park in my lot. So I just followed my normal pattern and parked. I got lucky, and nothing happened. Ok, I’ll put it in my work bag, and remember to put it in the car on Tuesday.
Nope. Still forgot.
On the bus back to the lot, it’s in my bag, in the front pocket. Surely I will remember, because I have to go into that pocket to get my keys out. Well, that is also where my phone lives, and naturally I had to check my phone and play games on the bus.
Almost to the lot, the guy a row of seats behind me is talking. I’m reading my kindle, not paying attention. But the end of the conversation finally drills through my laser-like reading focus “…parking pass, guess I’ll turn it in if no one claims it…”
Check my bag, yup, sure enough the pass is gone. Must have fallen out when I checked my phone.
Everyone is filing off the now stopped bus, and in a panic, I whip around and raise my hand, like a kid in school. THAT’s MINE! I wave my hand around too, for good measure. He looks a bit startled, and then smiles and hands it over. I thanked him about a dozen times. As we walked down the steps he made some comment about “good thing, those are expensive to replace if you lose them!”
I put that bad boy up on the mirror the second I sat down.
It didn’t hit me until later, how sweet of this stranger to not just ignore it. Pretend he didn’t see it, say “it’s not my problem”. Or worse, take it and keep it, or throw it away.
The simple act of seeing it, knowing the significance, and pointing it out loudly hoping to find the owner, saved me a huge hassle and probably a large fee. I also had a warning ticket on my car, for “improper display of permit”. So I surely would have also had to pay a ticket in addition to a replacement fee if I hadn’t put the permit back up the next day. This stranger’s minute of time saved me potentially a hundred dollars.
I will likely not see that guy ever again, but I want to send out a THANK YOU to the universe. For every small, quiet, kind act. For every door held open for someone with their hands full. For every toll or cup of coffee you pay for a stranger behind you. For every smile, friendly hello, lending a quarter for the Aldi’s shopping cart.
We need more of these little moments of humanity, to restore the faith that we are a planet of kind people, who care about others, even if we don’t know them and never will. They are people just like us.
What can you do today, to make someone else’s day a little better?