I watched a video from Buzzfeed this morning that took me by surprise. Buzzfeed is normally for the lolz right … blurring the line between viral news and entertainment, but this morning, I saw a video that really touched me.
It left me feeling that maybe the world isn’t a horrible place after all (suffice to say it’s been a rough few weeks …) and that there are special people in this world who, just through a small gesture, can make a difference.
Take a look for yourself.
Anyway, I took Dexter to school and made my way to the café to work for the morning. On my way, I passed a young woman stood at a bus stop. She was probably about 19 and she looked really cold. I slowed down and the following conversation ran through my head in the space of a few seconds:
She looks really cold. I wonder if she’s going to the shopping centre I’m going to?
(Maybe. But don’t slow down whatever you do. You’ll look weird if you slow down.)
I could give her a lift. I should slow down.
(Don’t slow down! She’ll think you’re weird!)
It would be a nice gesture of kindness if I offered her a lift right?
(No. It wouldn’t. She’ll think you’re trying to abduct her.)
I’m a woman on my own, it won’t look odd.
(She’ll scream. I’m warning you.)
But I just feel the need to do something nice. Here’s my opportunity! It’s just a small thing. I’d be saving her a few pounds, she’ll be warm, and get to work quicker.
(And what if she says no. And then reports you. And then CCTV track your registration plate. And come to your house. And think you’re a pervert.)
I only wanted to do something nice.
(Don’t. She won’t thank you for it.)
And so I drove past, leaving this young lady to her own devices.
I’m conscious that I might be over-reacting somewhat but I’m sure I’m not the only one who has these conversations. You want to do something nice but you’re worried about how you’ll be judged … whether it’ll be taken in the wrong way, so you end up doing nothing, and then dwell on it all day. I’m only talking about giving someone a lift but it’s the principle.
Sad, isn’t it? I often feel the urge to deliver a random act of kindness but always worry (too much?) about how it would be construed. Perhaps I should just give out free hugs … surely that won’t be taken the wrong way?! 🙂
I hope that at least the thought of an act of kindness grows the spirit and strengthens the soul … but as I get older, I think more and more about wanting to help people worse off than myself. Even if it is just buying someone a coffee, lending a shoulder to cry on or offering someone a lift.
Maybe one day I’ll be brave enough.