A Thank You for An Unnecessary Kindness

Though this blog often contains a great deal of personal information about me, my life and its goings-on, I don’t think I ever get too sappy or self-indulgent with personal anecdotes that aren’t relevant to an overall point (please feel free to disagree and cite your evidence – three examples makes a case, I’d say). However, I must share a quick story.

Tonight Eszter and I went to Sausalito to have dinner with some of my family that lives out here (my family has been very sweet in their reaching out to us since we’ve moved here). We had sensational Chinese food and a lovely time at a restaurant called Feng Nian. After dinner we had to drive (in our Zip Car) back across the Golden Gate Bridge, and upon recalling that the toll was 5 dollars and that we had no cash, pulled off the last exit to see if we could find an ATM or gas station. This sucked all the more (or mainly because) I had to pee really really bad (small bladder) and because we had to have our car back within 22 minutes.

In any case, a few minutes off the exit we saw a restaurant, and I’m not sure why I went in since nice restaurants in Sausalito don’t do cash back, but I decided to ask if they knew of an ATM or whether the toll could be paid with a card. The two bar tenders and the only couple at the bar began talking with me about my options and the bar tender remembered that the toll could be mailed to my home address if I had no cash.

Much to my surprise, however, the couple produced a five dollar bill that they insisted I take. I told them I had only come for information (though I wondered if I seemed like one of those scam artists who complains of a broken down car around the corner containing his pregnant girlfriend and a flower in rare bloom that needs to be photographed immediately in order to get the payout such a special find earns) and that I could just have the toll people mail me a bill. They insisted, though, that I take the five dollars, and as I did – so dumbstruck by their unnecessary kindness that I didn’t know what else to do – I assured them that at some point I would pass the five dollars onto someone who needed it far more than I.

I know it wasn’t such a big deal monetarily nor the best use of their five dollars (multiple children in Africa could be vaccinated against deadly diseases rampaging their villages with that money), but I was still struck by how forthcoming they were to just help a stranger out and make his life easier.

Have you had a similar experience with unnecessary kindness that you’d like to share? Please do so below.

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One Response

  1. That’s a great story. Telling them that you will “pass it on” was good, too. Consider also making a charitable donation – $10 to those kids you mentioned? Oh yeah – and each of you fold up a $20 bill and stick it in a little used part of your wallet for emergencies.

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