Pay It Forward.
We tend to be so absorbed in our own worlds that noticing others’ struggles is just that, an observation.
Do we ever stop to think that a selfless act of random kindness may make that other’s life just a little more bearable or easier? We do, but not often enough…
We were biking in a vast and beautiful Acadia Park when my wife’s bike developed a technical problem.
Standing by the side of the road, trying to remedy the situation without any tools only brought angst and frustration that were quickly overshadowing the pleasant biking trip in one of the most colorful parks on the East Coast.
A car stopped next to us and two middle aged gentlemen stepped out. They asked if they can be of assistance. Since I had no tools with me, I asked for a wrench that they happen to have, since they both were bikers too, as I noticed their bike rack with bikes strapped to the back of the car.
With the wrench, I vigorously started tightening the loose nut and at one point it just snapped. Now my wife’s bike became totally disabled, as we both contemplated Plan B.
One of the gents assured us that the Park’s bus service is in the next town that is 5 miles away and they would get us there.
Since we were stuck and at the mercy of strangers who suggested we come along and visit the private, but open to the public garden next door, we listened.
The garden turned out to be the most beautiful landscaped garden we ever saw, filled with blooming collection of flowers and trees.
At the end of our visit to the gardens, one of the men, whose name was Stewart K. lead us to his car and helped with mounting our bikes onto the bike rack.
He drove us all the way to our town, instead of the original plan of dropping us off at the next town’s bus stop.
The drive was about 30 minutes long and we had a great time discussing various topics along the way.
At the end, when our bikes were taken down by the bike rental personnel, I thanked Stewart for going out of his way, really out of his way to bring us home, he smiled at us and replied: “This is called paying forward”.
I was stunned for a moment. So this is how it feels to be the recipient of someone’s selfless kindness!
Stewart shook my hand and said that he would accept my gratitude in the same form.
Offering help to someone in need, without expecting anything in return has become my Modem Operadea mantra.
Life is not always about us.
Thank you Stewart K.