Sunday, January 23, 2011

Good Samarit-attain-ia

It occurred to me that a lot of my "societal commentary" posts are negative. "Here's something you see everyday and here is why it's BAD." That's not really how I live my life, I promise.

To redirect, I've created a page for Good Samaritanisms, or real-life examples of strangers pleasantly surprising others. These people give us hope and inspiration to do the same for others... a habit to attain (I had to do it).
I don't own the rights.

Here are the ones I can remember. I'll add to the page every time I remember an old one, whenever a new Good Samaritanism happens to me, and whenever YOU share YOUR Good Samaritan stories!

*The other day I was standing in line at Jo Ann's Fabric Store (man, they charge a lot to make your own stuff) and the lady behind me approached me with a warm demeanor. She asked if any of my items were on sale and handed me a 40% off coupon that would give me a discount. She said, "I have an extra!" -- but she didn't have to save me $8.00 at all.

*On a flight to Los Angeles with the Model UN club in my sophomore year (and at the midway point of my awkward, self-consciousness), I sat next to a bubbly lady. She talked to me the whole way, made me feel comfortable, dished out advice, and then paid for my lunch.

*My sister Christine was embarking on her mile-long trek to work a few years ago and a girl she didn't know pulled over and offered her a ride to work.

*Several years ago, my dad was driving home from the bank with $3000 in an envelope sitting on the dashboard. I can hear you already: 1) yes, that was an unfortunate location choice and, 2) my parents once owned a soccer magazine and the large amount of cash was for something related to that. Upon arriving in our driveway, he realized the money must have blown out the window. With scenes of Uncle Billy and Jimmy Stewart flashing through his mind, he panicked and retraced his steps, to no avail. Later that day, a woman called our house, saying she found an envelope in the street gutter... nothing about $3000 in it. She returned all of it to my father and didn't expect a reward.

*Starbucks, oh Starbucks. My sister is addicted to you. Katie was sitting outside a Starbucks a few years ago, feeling unhappy, stressed, and worried about several things. A stranger walking out the coffee shop door recognized that she was upset, cheerfully asked her about her day, and then chatted with her for a quarter of an hour.

*After Christine's car crash in Italy, five families came out of their house to investigate. The car had flipped completely over and landed back on its tires, terrifying everyone in it. The families who witnessed it and came to help gave gauze to Christine for her bleeding legs, brought food for the car-ful of people, and tissues for the 9-year-old who was crying. They offered comfort in a horrifying time.

*A couple in the same restaurant as Christine's pre-Homecoming, 10-person party paid their entire bill.

*On multiple occasions, the drivers ahead of me have paid for my toll. Yay, Virginia!

*Katie was 9 and chewed alive by bug bites, and was trapped outside. She says we were out of earshot and/or just not letting us in. She was terrified that she was being feasted on by a tick, crying out and pounding on doors. The son of the backdoor neighbor, whom we had not met, came over, calmed her down, and helped her get our attention.

*Christine has also gotten in a pretty bad bike crash along the side of a road. A man pulled over helped her and her bike into his truck and drove her to her boyfriend's house. From there she had to go to the hospital.

*Living in a new city by yourself is tough. My cousin was feeling particularly lonely and decided to adopt a dog. As she pulled into the parking lot, another woman was also pulling in. This lady had found a dog and wanted someone to adopt him, but she didn't want him to be euthanized. My cousin got her companion and $125 in cash from the woman. The woman received peace of mind and the dog got a home and a name: Keto.


Katy said...

I LOVE hearing stories like these!

Elizabeth said...

Thanks, Katy! Tell me YOUR stories!

Anonymous said...

I am NOT addicted to Starbucks. It just happened to be in the vicinity, thank you very much!

These are great :)

Jim said...

Again, well said. We often seem more negative in our social commentary because I think it is much, much, easier to pick out the things that are wrong and should be fixed. There isn't anything wrong with that, but it is just as important to applaud examples of positive behavior and derive joy from them.

Indeed there is much ugliness in humanity, but also so much goodness. Seldom does anything reveal God's glory to me than seeing other people freely follow the example of Christ.

TheAlmostMrsBrastad said...

I love these stories. I have billions but here is just one: our church has a helping hands program where we give money (like many churches) to those less fortunate. A young couple came in and asked for help with groceries and utilities, and were given $70 to help tthem out for the month. About 6 months later the couple returned and our church secretary recognized them. Our church was going through a rough time financially, and our secretary immediately thought oh no! We have no money and they probably need help. Instead the couple approached her and said, we were newly weds and going through a really rough time financially and no one would help us. We don't even attend your church and you didn't hesitate to help us. The bible says to pay back in ten fold, so thank you, and iwe want to do for others what you did for us. They handed her an envelope and left. Inside the envelope was $700.

Elizabeth said...

Wow, that is BEAUTIFUL. It gave me chills!

TheAlmostMrsBrastad said...

That was a really long story haha sorry!

Elizabeth said...

Don't apologize! I've already added it!

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