The other day at my library job, I assisted an elderly gentleman who appeared somewhat confused. There is a lot of construction happening near my workplace right now and he had to ask for walking directions back to his home. I tried to explain the route as simply as possible, but to be honest, the route isn’t very simple right now. Because of bridge construction, flooding along one of the streets and other issues, those directions are more complicated than they should be.
The man left the desk, aiming for home, but he still looked confused.
To my surprise, one of our regular customers jumped in and offered the older man a ride home. The man accepted it readily.
My first instinct, being a streetwise woman who grew up in Toronto, was concern. After all, I would never accept a car ride from a stranger. However, the man who offered the ride was someone who has been coming to the library a long time and I felt sure he was only trying to help out a senior in need.
Once they left, I was surprised at how shocked I was at this random act of kindness. It put me on guard and made me worry for a moment. That saddened me.
We (or is it me?) have become accustomed to suspecting the worst, so much so that when something nice happens, we look for sinister consequences. In this situation, I have no doubt now that this was a Good Samaritan moment.
Maybe I’m just not used to witnessing these random acts of kindness enough. They’re elusive, like the sasquatch. You have to crane your neck and strain your eyes to see them.
Hopefully I’ll be able to witness some more. Maybe then, they won’t be as shocking. Maybe I need to create a few of my own and shock the hell out of someone else.