I am not surprised at the wonderful response from all corners of the world on the first article in our series “The Great Things People Do.” It proves my point that we have great people all around us and all over the world that are doing great things every day and that people would love to hear more positive news.
I have two simple stories that happened to me yesterday, but let me ask all of our wonderful readers a question.
Do you do kind things and the right things when it’s convenient for you, or because it’s the thing to do no matter how inconvenient it may be?
Yesterday, I had a busy day but I took a break first and foremost to visit my wonderful four-week-old grandson and my son. Heading back home to some urgent tasks I had to follow up on, I first made a “quick” pit stop at my favorite health store. While in the check-out line, there was a lady and her handicapped son in front of me and she was paying by check (I did not know people still did that). She also broke up her groceries into two separate bills – that meant two separate check transactions. Witnessing how long it was taking due to some machine malfunctions, I let two people behind me, who had jumped from another lane because it was obviously moving to slow for them and I let them in front of me since they had much less stuff than I had.
Well to their disappointment, my lane, due to check issue, started moving even slower than their original lane, and the folks looked at me and said, “thank you, but are you not in a rush?”
“Even if I was, just standing here gives me time to think,” I responded.
About 10 minutes later, the folks in front of me finally went through and the cashier thanked me for my patience.
“No big deal, there are more important things in life to worry about,” I said, as I proceeded to make sure he was still having a good day. He was clearly frustrated at the check issue.
As I departed, I knew I really had to get back to work and took every shortcut known to man on the way back. About five minutes from my destination, as I am passing a middle school in the area, out of the corner of my eye I see two cars stopped on the incline heading into the school premises. There was one woman and two younger girls trying to push the other car up the school driveway incline, while the woman inside the car being pushed also has two more little girls inside the car with her. I could not believe that people were just driving by them and without a second thought, made a hard right into the school driveway, jumped out of the car and started to help them push the car.
Since the car was not moving before that, the older woman looked at the two girls and said: “you know this car is moving only because of him right?”
We all had a laugh. To see how much my help meant to them took away any edge of anything urgent I was on my way to do. In short, no one can do or give me anything in return for a great deed other than me seeing in the eyes of that mother and all her kids what my assistance meant to them. They all kept staring even as I was leaving and saying goodbye. That feeling cannot be bought, sold or traded.
As I drove away, I kept thinking, “should I have given them my number since the other family members who had come to help in another car had to go get the broken down car gas?” I was still concerned whether the car would start eventually. When you are truly aware of the real world around you and care about the people that live in it, it’s truly mind-boggling when you realize the things in life that bug you.
I would like to close with this: I realized when I saw those people at the side of the road that I did not hesitate to help them. There was nothing to think about other than doing the right thing. Aristotle had a theory that when we are faced with a decision of right and wrong, good and bad, that a moral human being does not hesitate to do the right thing, but when we have to think about it, if we eventually decide to do the right thing, the fact that we had to think twice does not make us a moral human being. Therefore, it’s surmised that only through habit and making the right decisions do we become moral individuals.