Tonight I broke a cardinal rule – I got into a car with a stranger (sorry, mom and dad!)
Let me give you some context.
Out of a press for time and a major lack of groceries, I found myself pursuing the aisles of Aldi on a Saturday night. I had checked out and packed up my groceries. As I was lifting my numerous hefty bags out of my cart to walk back to the bus stop, a woman stopped me and asked if I needed help carrying anything.
I replied, “Oh, no it’s okay. I’m just walking to the bus. Thank you though.”
We walked in opposite directions and after a few moments, she called out to get my attention.
She simply stated, “I know I’m a stranger, but can I offer you a ride somewhere?”
After sizing up the situation for half a second in my brain (trust me, the thought of, ‘This is how some murder stories begin’ crossed my mind), I said, “Are you sure?”
We had a quick discussion about who we each were – she had made the (correct) assumption that I’m a college student without a car; she is a very kind lady who has worked at the university for 15+ years – and ultimately, she was driving me home within a few minutes of our initial encounter.
I know that there are probably people – friends and family in particular – who would (will) scold me H A R D for doing what I did.
It kind of made my evening.
If I had declined, I would have waited 20+ minutes in the cold for the bus to come, and then spent 35+ minutes riding the bus home. Instead, I spent 9 minutes in the car and made a new connection with a faculty member on campus. Personally, I call that a win.
What I love most about the events that transpired with evening is that she didn’t have to offer me a ride, but she did. She was kind and compassionate toward me when she absolutely had no reason to be. The connection and mutual trust that was established in our brief exchange has made my evening brighter; it reminds me that while there are definitely situations with strangers that that warrant caution, kindness exists in this world in places we don’t always expect it.
In my case, that place just happened to be the Aldi parking lot.
Thanks for reading and check back soon for more.
Until next time,