Have you ever been a Good Samaritan? You don’t have to be religious to be one. I’d like to think that I am quite often, in fact most times when I leave the house. Whether it is carrying heavy bags for old people in the street, running up the road to give people back their wallets or cash that they’ve dropped or assisting people with mobility problems off buses… that sort of thing.
It isn’t always easy helping strangers especially not if you’re what would broadly be classified as a young man, especially when I was a younger man! The media would have people believe that most young men are at best muggers and petty thieves and at worst, much more. So I never took it personally when my genuine offers of help were turned down.
I never do them for any other reason to try and help and be nice and if people think it is dodgy or old fashioned, well it is their loss. I know that when you do successfully help people then it both makes their day and mine. In the last few months I have been able to give a lift to two complete strangers, one an old lady who I was standing behind in a queue and had heard spent 90 minutes on buses to pick up a huge parcel from the not at all central mail depot. I offered a lift home and didn’t at all expect her to say yes but she did and I was so happy to oblige that we chatted so much, not only did I nearly miss her turning but almost made a speed camera go off.
A few weeks later I had seen a large but oldish man, he wasn’t very well presented and had an outfit that rather reminded me of the murderer in the film “I know what you did last summer”. As I had seen him 3 days in a row walking up the same road but often a mile apart I thought that what ever he was doing, he had a regular long journey and using some logic I learned from Biggles I figured he probably wouldn’t want to kill me if he wanted to walk down the same street tomorrow.
As it happened, the man was semi-homeless and was visiting his old friend in hospital who was suffering from a severe illness. The man had no money to get the 2 or 3 buses he needed and from experience I knew it was a very long walk as I too have gone that way when I didn’t have the money for the bus.
It’s amazing how many people I have stopped to call for an ambulance after they have collapsed on the street early in the morning on my way to work, the whole of NW London is probably thankful that they are much less likely to suffer a heart attack now I no longer drive that way again.
The only time I probably put myself at risk was one sunny Saturday afternoon outside Waterloo Station. A young lady was standing waiting for a lift when she was first shouted and then jostled by 3 teenage men. Despite it being obvious that she needed help and there being dozens of people walking past every minute. So stupidly I went to chase them away and after dodgy a punch and 2 flying beer bottles the three ran off and both her and I were unhurt. She was an American who had just landed earlier in the day she was just waiting for her boyfriend to meet her but he was late. Barely had she had time to explain why she was here than her lift arrived and with a quick ‘thanks’ she was off and I went on my way.
It’s not a one-way street, I’ve been the recipient of one or two very kind and generous acts from complete strangers that I still remember years later. If you’ve got some heart warming stories to tell, here’s the place. Don’t be shy!