I came across this entry, in a friend’s journal, from a little over five years ago, and I think it’s a beautiful example of why this friend is one of my favourite people, and someone I deeply love and admire. A few sentences have been deleted, to protect privacy.
I just had a weird thing happen … I remembered, for the first time in years, the one truly noble, selfless, completely unquestionable act of kindness that I performed.
It was years ago …I don’t remember the date, but I remember that I was going to see [someone] who I wasn’t dating yet. It was a cold, rainy night, and for some reason I was stopping in Bellevue on my way up to 520. As I pulled up to the intersection of NE 8th and the 405 offramp, I saw two kids standing there, huddling in the cold, trying to hitch a ride.
I don’t normally pick up hitchhikers, but this time, I just had the urge to. So I rolled down my window, and said “are you two hungry?” They were, so they got in my car and I drove them over to breakfast place that’s right there. I can’t even remember if it’s a Shari’s or a Denny’s – it’s one of those plastic yellow places where the food’s always consistently mediocre and it exists only for late night travelers and the walking wounded of 3 AM. But it wasn’t 3 AM. Heh.
ANd so I ordered food, and we started talking, and it turned out their dad had gotten arrested, and they were trying to get up to their mother’s house in Bellingham. Divorced parents, see. And their mother couldn’t drive down, so they were hitchhiking.
And I don’t know why I did this, but I got them fed, paid the tab, and drove them to the Grayhound terminal in Seattle. Bought them tickets, and sat there with ’em ’til they got on a bus. And after they were on the bus, I called their mother – having gotten the phone number from them – and told her her children were safe and on their way. And she sounded so grateful.
The only thing wrong with this is the statement that it’s the only unquestionably noble act of kindness my friend has done; I know this from personal and intimate experience. There have been numerous times where I’ve been on the receiving end of the kindness that comes from having such a large and generous heart.