I have a neighbor. His name is John. He lives one floor below me. He is in his mid-30s, has tattoo sleeves, and works at the Honda dealership. He has three young kids that wave from their apartment window every time they see me walk by.
John and I go to work at exactly the same time each day (6:55. Five minutes before the end of Saved By the Bell). We always share a friendly hello, and I always wave to his kids through the window. Yet before yesterday, that was the extent of our relationship.
Yesterday, instead of stopping at “Hello!” he also said that he noticed my brake light was out the previous day. You know that I would have had absolutely no idea about this. My knowledge of brakes is limited to the fact that they help your car stop.
His mentioning the missing brake light was more than enough. But instead, he offered to buy the parts and personally fix it for me. I said that he didn’t have to do that, but he insisted. He also said that he would be willing to do it whenever I’d like, and to simply to stop by.
I stopped by at 4:15. His kids starting bawling when he left (even though he promised he wouldn’t be gone long). You could tell he’s a fabulous father. He worked on my car for around 20 minutes, we shared stories, and he tried to teach me a thing or two about cars.
At some point in the conversation, I told John my muffler’s been giving me trouble. (I would have actually had no idea about this. My roommate told me this fact). John offered to look at it whenever I’d like.
I was amazed at John’s skill and his sweetness. I have no absolutely zero automobile abilities. I don’t even know what a muffler is. I could not pick out a lugnut in a crowd of other nuts. I still don’t know the difference between D1 and D2 (What is it? Seriously). John could jumpstart a car in his sleep.
John could easily have just told me that my brake light was out, and we could have gone our separate ways. Instead, he offered to sacrifice time with his kids to help out his automobile inept stranger. It made me realize how great people truly are. This stranger was completely unselfish.
I’m pretty sure this was the first completely random act of kindness I’ve ever experienced firsthand. But it made me wonder: Have you ever had a similar encounter with a stranger?