Friday, October 16, 2009

A good deed turned down

So the last couple of days it's been chilly and rainy here. Which I don't mind. I like the chill, I like scarves and sweaters, and the rain... well, we need it. So the weather doesn't bring me down like it does others.

But today I get off the bus, open my umbrella and notice and man rolling by in his wheelchair. With no protection from the rain whatsoever. It's cold out, and he's drenched. He's got cloves on to protect his hands from all the pushing on the wheels, I'm assuming. And he looks unbelievably down in the dumps. We are standing at the same corner waiting to cross the street and I think to myself, I wonder if he'd like some help. So when the walk sign comes on, I lean down and say "Hey Man, you want me to push you across the street?"

And he responds with a very emphatic "No!" And I was so taken aback that I just said "OK." and continued on my way. I wasn't doing it out of pity or because I felt bad for a guy who couldn't walk. I just wanted to do something nice for someone else. Especially when it's raining and people seem to be a little more down than when the sun is shinning.

I wonder if we as a community were just nicer to each other in general if this man wouldn't have been so hostile to a simple offer. It goes back to what we learned in kindergarten "Treat others the way you would want to be treated" I just don't understand how we can disregard others and what we see them go through every day. I just wanted to help him get across the street a little bit faster, get to a dry spot a bit quicker. But I guess he was determined to do it on his own. Wet and alone.

I kind of hope that where ever he went, he smiled when he got there.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sure he is used to people thinking he needed help, when he is quite capable - probably a life's worth of sticking up for himself came out at you. He isn't able to recognize any niceness anymore as anything but pity. I think any gesture would have been a sign of weakness to him, and he probably also grumbles that no one is nice. Don't take it personally, but I'm sure you would understand if you knew his story.

    I'm glad you're nice!