In all walks of life there are all sorts of people. Some seem to have this charisma that shines bright and other are as lacklustre as a discarded Victorian table. But having the charisma of a used wooden spoon doesn't mean to say you're a bad person.
Today after a fridge refuelling stop in Asda, I saw a car that looked parked in an obstructive position. I wondered if everything was OK so I sauntered over to have a mosey. The solitary lady of an age beyond comprehension was sat there looking as glum as you like. She looked up gave me a scowl that would have made the best of us shudder. Unperturbed I asked if everything was OK.
She wound her window down an inch and snapped "does it bloody look like it?" her cold stare pierced my brain like an ice pick.
Now I like to think I'm a good bloke but most of my being wanted to flick her the middle finger and walk away, but beyond the Titanic sinking iceberg stare was a hint of sadness. I asked if there was anything I could do to help, none the less. She replied "damn stupid car" in that long lost posh sherry swigging accent of the 70's "it won't start!"
"it's OK love, if you jump out, I'll roll it out the way into a space and have a look." A warm smile appeared on her face. I thought perhaps she was having a stroke, but it was definitely a smile!
I rolled her car into a space and tried to start it. Click click click.
"Yeah I think your battery is shot." I opened the bonnet (hood if this blog has made it Stateside ) and sure enough, the date on the battery was 2010.
"Was that not a good year for batteries then?" she enquired.
I smiled and just stayed quiet. I pulled my van over and gave her a jump start, which caused a chain reaction in her personality. By the time I'd packed everything away, she had a beaming smile and this glow about her that would've melted the iceberg before Titanic got anywhere near it! I told her she'll get home safe and sound but a new battery is required so arrange one before your next journey. As she got back into her car, she asked "why did you help me?"
"Just paying it forward shweetheart, just paying it forward"
I wondered how long she'd been sat there, everyone walking by head down, not wanting to be put out. It took 20 minutes out of my life but that smile as she drove away? It was worth every second. All those people that walked by will never know how warm that lady felt as she drove home.
People's circumstances dictate their immediate defence. You don't know their story, it may be worse than yours.
Smile and the world really does smile with you