This past weekend in San Francisco I saw three random acts of generosity and kindness, each in an unexpected place and in one case by a person whom I assumed would not be so generous (that's my fault for stereotyping I suppose).
The city by the bay does not have generosity and kindness cornered, and there must be plenty of stories of everyday happenings where someone has made a small gesture to another person that did not need to be made, some kind word was spoken where none was expected, or as in that commercial for an insurance company, there is a circle of deeds that allow kindness to be spread around.
Do we witness kindness every day, or generosity--of course and hopefully we are part of the giving or receiving. Take a moment and see if there is some event that you've witnessed in the recent or not so recent past that brought out the best in you or someone else.
As TJC reminded me in his post today, we are getting into the holiday season, a time that not only signals festivities and holidays but a time to take stock, to reflect and to be at our best to others.
Why not start a thread that focuses on kindness or generosity by someone?
So well said, SteppingStones! I was the recipient of multiple acts of kindness at one point a few years back. I was driving on I95 home from Portland the Thursday before Labor Day weekend, all was well with my world, when I suddenly heard a pop. Simultaneously I could not move the steering wheel. It's still up in the air whether it was catastrophic tire failure or a broken ball joint, but my car turned 180" toward south in the passing lane. Fortunately no one was in the lane. Then, according to the witnesses, the car flipped three times in the air and landed upside down in a grassy gully.
Somehow I felt I was going to be alright, though was struck by the fact that the music on the radio was still playing. Since I was worried about fire, I turned the car off, but was immediately joined by the people in the three cars that had been in front of or behind me. They ALL stopped and crossed I95. Someone had already called 911. Two men had to instruct me how to undo my seatbelt (upside down) and get the window open, since the doors no longer matched. Then they pulled me out the window and after I said I felt fine they walked me back across 95, where more people had stopped to help.All of the people waited till the EMTs arrived and a young man and woman from Boston stayed till the police got there to give their eyewitness report. The state trooper and I talked in his car while waiting for the tow truck to come for my (unsalvageable) car. It was only when I got to the towing agency and had to sign my signature that I started shaking. I was actually fine, with only a scratch on my right ankle (probably from the extraction process).
I was able to keep in touch with the young couple from Boston. They said it had been on the way to their first trip to Bar Harbor. Then they added that witnessing what could have been a disaster had brought them closer and they decided that weekend to get married!
We often hear about people passing by others in trouble, not seeing anything, and so forth. I was incredibly lucky and thankful that I95 was full of Good Samaritans that day.
Amazing Professor--what a story and what a great couple too. Glad they were there.
We've seen incredible acts of kindness here in Monterey during a major forest fire in 1987 and the Loma Prieta earthquake. No floods or pestilence yet!
In 1989 after the October quake every market in Monterey gave cold and frozen food to those with generators after first cooking up what they could to feed first responders. Hotels opened their doors for free to anyone fearful of staying at home during the many aftershocks. Four way stops replaced traffic lights and there were no accidents. Power was out for a while to everyone but we invited the neighbors in for gas-cooked food and plenty of wine.
We came together as one that time. Hopefully it will not take a major event to make it happen more often.
Thanks for the wonderful post.