I was walking home from visiting a friend last night when a car stops by and the driver, seemed upset and kept talking about not having gas and being hungry.
For a minute I was absolutely confused about what she really wanted and I had to insist that she calms down and tell me what I could do for her. Well she gave me some story about how she is a diabetic and needed some food and money for gas.
However when I offered her the only 3$ that I had in my wallet, she said that was insufficient and I should ride with her to the seven-11 that was a few blocks away. For a minute I assumed she wanted me to do that, to buy her some food, considering there was no gas pump here.
I refused to get into her car, despite her assurance that she was not going to harm me. I told her that no one who was planning to hard me would warn me before doing it. But as I stood there on the cold November evening, something inside me made me agree to her idea, and I got into her car. Even though I made the silly spontaneous decision to do that, I had a sane moment to call a friend and make sure she stays on the phone with me.
I can hear everyone aghast at my decision and yes I admit it wasn’t a sane decision to make.
We get to 7-11 and I offer to give her 10$ and she then insists that she wants more. For a brief moment it crossed my mind that maybe this was a tall tal. But if she was, it was on her, because all I was doing was trying to help someone in their hour of need.
I know this might seem like a random story to read, but stay with me and continue to read about why I chose to make that decision of getting into the car.
The first thing that crossed my mind was, that this could me or someone I know. We could be this person who was in desperate need for money for gas or for food.
When I related this story to one of my friend’s, her first statement was “what has happened to you? When did you become this person who cannot say no?” In honesty I don’t even know when it happened. Has getting older made me soft and naïve and gullible or is it just that I have become more compassionate with age.
I may never know and I don’t want to know, does it really matter why I am this way ?
As much as I admit, getting into a car was an absolutely foolish thing to do on my part, but I think for a moment I wanted to have faith in another human, believe in the goodness of people, even if it meant putting my life at risk.
We have lost so much of compassion as a society, fearing to stop to help someone, always worried that the person was out to hurt us. Maybe we give money to charitable organizations and volunteer our time to a good cause, but is that really enough ?
I don’t recommend getting into strangers cars, but as much as her story maybe a lie, I want to give her the benefit of the doubt. My friends lecture me about having put myself at risk and there is no disputing that, but at least I live to tell this tale and feel better about having helped someone in my own little way. I may have not made a huge impact, but then again maybe I have. I want to believe in humanity and that people ask for help because they need it and not because they want to. So why should I not reach out and help someone in whatever way I can ?
“You were born with the ability to change someone’s life, don’t ever waste it.”