“What’s the nicest thing a stranger’s ever done for you?”

11 May

Saw this question on my formspring dashboard and remembered my encounter with a Good Samaritan when I was a freshman.

One day, to my great consternation, I left my wallet at home and found out when I was already in school. Undoubtedly distracted, I left my cellphone in my desk at the Math building and shuffled out of the classroom. I only realized my phone was missing when I got to CAL, so I dragged myself back from whence I came.

Another class was already going on, but I entered with a sheepish smile and a brief explanation of my purpose. Luckily, the students who discovered it surrendered the phone to the teacher at the start of the period. I thanked them all and left them be. I heard the door open again, and my then-co-applicant-in-an-org ambled out of the room to say hi and jokingly chastise me for interrupting their Math time.

I was on my way to hail a jeep outside Math when my sandal broke. Fresh out of high school as I was, I whipped out my school supplies pouch and attempted to staple the wayward strap in place. My desperate effort was to no avail. Penniless and shoeless, I started to walk towards SC, praying that the shoe repairman there would have pity and let me pay him back tomorrow.

There were some cars in the parking lot, a few guarded by drivers who drove rich students to and fro their different classes throughout the day. One such driver noticed my “handicap” and told me to wait as he got something from the car. He returned with a pair of black slippers in his hands.

I thanked him profusely, of course, but I never even got his name. More than that one isolated incident though, I’m grateful for people like him who do all they can to help a stranger — because it’s one thing to have good intentions, but acting on them is something else entirely.

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