Inspiring people to practice kindness and pass it on to others
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I had just delivered a presentation to some school boys about journalism, and was on my way back to work, when I noticed a man standing next to a car, which had obviously broken down. He walked over to my car as I pulled up, and wound down my window. I was aware the situation could have been a trap and so, temporarily stayed in the car until I could determine whether it was safe to get out and help.
The man told me he thought his engine had failed and he would need to call the AA for help, but had no phone. I took my boss's mobile, which had been siting on the seat next to me, and rang the AA for him. He said "you need to be moving on, now, don't you? Please don't let me hold you up." I said 'You may need to chase them up again, so I shall stay until they arrive."
I climbed out of the car and offered him some tea from my flask, as we waited. Eventually the AA vehicle was visible in the distance, so I felt I could go. "How can I repay you?" he said.
I thought for a minute and told him a story. "When I was a young journalist working in my first job on a daily newspaper, there was this much older writer, who used to wear waistcoats and bow ties to work, who just suddenly one day invited me out to lunch. I was in awe of his skills, and we had never spoken before, as he sat right across the room, so I did not understand why he invited me out. I thought - why would he want to have lunch with a beginner like me? Well, we got to the pub, ordered our food and drink, and then I asked him why he had invited me out.
He said "there are a lot of journalists who are very unhappy, unhealthy, and lonely. Depression is rife in this profession, divorce is very common, and many journalists are alcoholics or drug users. Don't be one of them. Do it right - join a gym and get fit, stay off the booze as much as you can and lead a healthy, balanced life. I am one of the older ones, and I am responsible for helping those who are starting out so this is my bid to do that. I figure if I can stop one person from going down the tubes, then it will have been worth it."
I was so stunned by this that I asked him how I could repay him for this help. He said 'you can't probably, but you can do the same for someone else in your life."The next day I joined a gym, and went teetotal for the best part of 14 years. I have been doing helpful things as much as I can ever since and have no regrets. It has bought me only joy."
The man was listening intently, still. "I believe in cascades," I continued. "You may not be able to help me back right now, but you can help someone else, and tell them this story. Together we can start a chain reaction that goes all around the world, like an embrace. Pretty soon we will have embraced the world several times over."
As he shook my hand and I departed, I knew from the expression on his face, that he would do exactly that.
wow! pay it forward.....
Posted 10 months ago by Liz from Catskill, NY
Posted 8 months ago by Emily from VIC
Posted 5 months ago by merry from mi