It was -14 degrees (not including the wind chill) this morning as I stood at my bus stop waiting to go to work. A city police car pulled up and the officer asked if I would like a ride. I told her that I was going to campus and she said that she couldn't take me all the way there, but she could get me a lot closer. I thanked her and said there should be a bus along soon. She said she'd drive by again in a few minutes, just in case.
This was the most amazing thing. It made me so glad that I had decided not to skip work today because of the cold because I would have missed this experience. The bus did come about two minutes later and all the way to work I was feeling the warmth of this small act of human kindness.
When I got to work I just had to tell someone so I stopped in the office of a co-worker and after comparing notes on the weather I told her about my experience. She said that was great and then proceeded to tell me her tale of being dropped off at the door by her husband ("chauffeur" she called him) because he was a teacher and school had been canceled. Okay, that was nice - but he's your husband, you know? My story is about a cop - a stranger to me - a cop - kindness - you know? Amazing right? "Well, maybe not so much", I thought and went about my business for the day.
When I got home I was still a little glowing from this experience so I told my wife the story. She immediately questioned if they had been told to do this. And then she went on to fill me in on the other news of the day. No big deal in the grand scheme of things, I guess.
I don't know about you but I thought this experience was uplifting and inspiring. I thought it proved that individual acts of kindness are possible (and quite common) - that there is still goodness and charity in our world. Our society has become so cynical, paranoid, and narcissistic. We all live in constant fear of others or that others will steal our stash. This experience made me feel really good about the world in which I live. And that, in turn, made me feel good about myself. I liked that feeling - however naive - and I will continue to use it to re-enforce my beliefs.
Maybe next time someone tries to do something nice for me I'll just keep it to myself.