Recently on TV there has been a series of ads from an insurance company which shows people doing good deeds for others, such as pulling them away to safety from oncoming traffic. Their tagline is: “Responsibility. What’s your policy?”
The ad campaign got me to thinking about the acts of generosity I’ve experienced from complete strangers.
Once I was trying to get to my sister’s place in the Bronx so I could pick her up and take her to JFK for a flight to Ireland. I got caught up in a terrible traffic jam and didn’t know if I was even going in the right direction. I wound down my window, saw a jalopy filled to the brim with an Hispanic family and shouted to the driver, “Am I on the right road for City Island?” “Follow me,” the driver said and immediately exited the highway. For the next 30 minutes or so, as I bumped along rutted roads and traversed increasingly downtrodden neighborhoods, my paranoia set in and I began to wonder if I was going to be car-jacked. All of a sudden, however, I started to recognize landmarks and soon the car pulled over by a sign pointing to City Island. I got out of my car and went to my Good Samaritan. I thanked him profusely and tried to offer some money. He, his wife and children all smiled broadly, said there was no need for any kind of reward and with a causal wave drove off.
What kinds of good deeds have been done unto you?