The other day on my way to school, my car alternator died on me and I was left stranded in the middle of the road. Given it was so early in the morning, everyone that I could reach out to for help and a jumpstart was still sleeping. I had to do something. I couldn’t just stay there waiting for someone to come to my rescue. I went to my backpack, grabbed a notebook and on a page wrote, “Can you give me a jumpstart please?” Five minutes passed me by, and although everyone looked, no one was actually willing to help. Eventually, two men in a work van gave me a jumpstart and I safely got to a parking area where I could wait for an alternator to save the day.
When I told my mother that two random strangers had helped me, she all of a sudden began putting fears into my head, saying things like, “Don’t tell them anything. You should’ve just waited for someone you know to come help. You can’t trust people. The world is not a friendly place.”
Granted, I am aware of the amount of violence that occurs daily and the schemes that have occurred to kidnap and traffic individuals, but I don’t think we should be looking at the world like it is out to get us, or is a scary and unfriendly place. We can’t live in fear of living. If we do, we’re not living at all. We have to be willing to take risks, and with that, we also have to be willing to trust others. It’s important to be cautious, but being cautious shouldn’t stop us from actually doing something. Sometimes, we need the help of a stranger or a stranger needs our help. We can’t put into our mindset that everyone we meet will be unkind or has a hidden agenda. We should be thinking the opposite: everyone we meet can be kind and can teach us something we don’t know.
Standing out on the road, watching dozens of cars pass me by in a moment of need really made me think about mankind. Were people afraid to help me because they thought I was trying to scheme them somehow? Were they too caught up in their own rush to get to where they were going that they thought, “Not me. Someone else can help her.” But what if no one else had helped?
The world needs us to be more kind and more willing to help others. Regardless of what we look like, believe in and do, on the inside, we’re the same. Let’s stop being so in our own heads and make the world a better place.
Photo: A. James