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The Kindness of Strangers

Posted by on September 3, 2023

I have to believe in the inherent goodness of humanity. I rely on it. I’ve built my life around taking advantage of it. I don’t mean “take advantage” in a bad way; I appreciate the hell out of people’s inherent goodness.

I remember the first time that I had to ask a stranger for help. It was my first day of college. I was on campus, ten minutes to get between classes, and as usual, I was completely and totally lost. I knew what building I needed, but no manner of map was helping; my brain was spinning. I knew my only option was to ask one of the people walking down the sidewalk. The first one that looked my way got a smile and a sweet “excuse me”; I asked where the building was, the stranger told me and didn’t seem to mind doing it. I found my class, and I realized that I would live my life relying on the kindness of strangers.

What I’ve found is that every single stranger I’ve ever asked for help gave it. They usually seemed happy to do it. They liked being knowledgeable of the thing and able to help; it probably made them feel good about themselves. As it should. I appreciated the service they did for me.

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