Empathy is not Dead

I’m told that it’s just the area in which I live, that things aren’t the same in less crowded places, but over the years I’ve marveled at just how indifferent people are in general. Nobody wants to help anyone else, ever. People are too busy or afraid to pull over when they see someone’s broken down, etc.

Recently, I’ve had two pretty awesome events happen to me that has… I wouldn’t say renewed my faith in humanity, but it sure was nice anyway.

Money is tight these days. It’s uncommon that we are able to shell out $350 for oil for the house. We only use it for hot water and heat, and during the summer, we don’t use heat anyway… Fortunately, I was told by our oil guy to just run out and get 10 gallons of diesel gas. He said it’s the same thing they sell, they just put a dye in it.

So I’d run out to the gas station and get 5 or 10 gallons as I could. One day I got out there, and my card didn’t work. I’d gone with $20, was going to get $20 of car gas, $20 of diesel. I could not NOT get gas for the car, it was running on fumes as it was, but we were out of oil at home, thus no hot water for showers… The kid behind the counter took $20 out of his own pocket, and told me I was all set.

Now, I know I had the money in my account, my card was just being tempermental, so I went home, put the diesel in the tank, primed the boiler pump and went back out. I went to the ATM got $20 and paid him back. He said it was funny that I came back, he’d just given another person $20 right after me, said she almost cried.

I ran into him there a week or so later, he remembered me. I asked if he’d ever gotten paid back by the other girl, he said no with a smile, and shrugged. Had I had the money, I’d have paid him back for her.

The second time was just yesterday. I’d gotten a flat tire, and my car is kinda over the hill as far as mileage, so the spare underneath the back hasn’t budged since it went up. The mechanism in the back of the car that you crank to lower the tire down was old and corroded, and wouldn’t lower the tire down all the way, so I couldn’t get it out from under the car.

I called my dealer, he recommended I call the mechanic. I’ve been to this guy a few times now, so he remembered me. He actually came out to the house, and helped me get the tire out. Wouldn’t accept any payment or owed favors or anything.

People in service positions like that are in a unique position to be terribly kind. Unfortunately, they typically seem to choose not to. Still, knowing there are still some folks who feel the reward of simply doing something nice, is encouraging.

Anything like this happy to you lately?