The Strangers of Kindness ► UpLyfting Thoughts #2

Some people are incredibly kind.

The other day I picked up 3 women who took a very long time to get to the car.

TO BE FAIR: It was a gated community without a guard. I needed to wait outside and they were forced to walk to me. The youngest actually arrived very quickly. She explained in broken English that her mother and very pregnant sister walked much more slowly.

The Lyft app has a countdown timer. If my client doesn’t arrive in time, I’m supposed to press a button and drive away because “other people may be waiting.” I ignored the app and stayed where I was even though they went 2 minutes over the 5 allotted minutes.

Some rules are made to be broken.

Then . . . I was mildly irritated that, during the drive, all 3 were talking loudly in Spanish — two of them on their cell phones. It wasn’t that they weren’t speaking English that bothered me. It was because I had to turn my music down while they were on the phone.

If there’s no music playing, I forget how to drive.

When we got to their destination — at Sawgrass Mills, a massive mall near me — the two in the backseat opened the doors on both sides of the car, which always makes me nervous, especially if the driver’s side opens up onto a lane of traffic. They closed the doors and as I was waiting for them to clear the car so I could drive away, when both back doors were suddenly opened again.

Thinking they may have dropped and lost something, I got out myself to help them look for it. However, as I stood there (dumbly) I watched them pull the floor mats out of the car and shake them off. They apologized and said they had tracked flower petals into the car when they got in. They youngest gestured to her mother and said, “She teach us to leave a place like we find it.”

I thanked them profusely. I would not have noticed that until much later, probably after the petals had already been ground into the Grey Ghost.


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Headly Westerfield
Calling himself “A liberally progressive, sarcastically cynical, iconoclastic polymath,” Headly Westerfield has been a professional writer all his adult life.