Something that happened today made me think of a quote by Mr. Rogers: "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'” This morning I couldn't start my car. The battery had died due to an inside light being left on overnight. I had no idea where jumper cables were (I looked for them but no dice) and, more importantly, did not have another vehicle to use to jump it. Currently I have no next door neighbors since the two people who lived next to me moved away. I tried my dad at work but couldn't reach him. The only other person I could think of was an old man who lives about a quarter of a mile up the road from me. Eventually I just said screw it and made the trek up there, in the cold. I don't know how long I knocked on his door but when he answered, my fingers were frozen numb. He told me to come inside and sit down in his living room, then told me to explain my situation. When I did he said he couldn't help; he didn't drive much anymore and didn't have any jumper cables. I thanked him and left.
I considered going back home and calling my boss to tell her I couldn't make it in today, but then I thought, "Well, there are a couple of houses a little further up the way... and I've already come this far. Might as well." So I trudged up the road and managed to get a person on the first house. She was a young woman. Her husband had driven their car to work but she had jumper cables which she let me borrow. She told me I could give them back as soon as I was able. I thanked her and then headed for home, thinking that instead of pestering more people I might be able to use the lawn mower to jump start my car.
I wasn't halfway there when an SUV pulled up and the lady inside rolled down her window and asked if I needed a ride. I told her no, that I just needed to jump my car but I appreciated the offer. Then she surprised me: "Hop on in. I'll get you home and get your car started," she said. So I did. She hooked her vehicle to mine and started her engine, but for some reason she couldn't revive my battery. So she called her father, who happened to be the owner of an auto shop, and asked him to come help. He was at work, which was where she'd been headed when she saw me, but he drove to my house anyway and successfully jumped my car. I was so grateful. I thanked them both about five times. I offered to pay them but they both said not to worry about it, they were happy to help.
So I managed to go to work today, albeit late, and I started thinking about how, with all the tragedy that's been going on, what with the Paris attacks and ISIS and the bombing in Syria, I've been disheartened lately more than not. Everywhere you look there's pain and suffering. People treating each other like shit for whatever reason. It's nice to see kindness. Genuine kindness. It's nice to see that it exists amidst all the chaos.
Thanksgiving's coming up, and if anyone wants to know what I'm thankful for, well, I'm thankful for a lot of things, but kind people are at the top of the list.