It wasn’t a special day in any sense of the word “special.” I was crossing Sunset Blvd on my way to pick up some groceries at “Rock N’ Roll” Ralph’s. (The store has embraced this moniker so enthusiastically that they actually display it above the entrance). Walking a couple steps ahead of me was a nondescript guy also in his thirties, yapping away on his cell phone. As I finished crossing and stepped onto the curb, I noticed that a car was pulled over, and an older Russian woman was having trouble getting out. The driver, an older man himself, was in no position to offer any meaningful assistance. I heard the guy ahead of me say into his phone, “hang on a sec,” before rushing to help the woman from the car to the curb. It was a quick gesture, for which I’m not even sure he was thanked.
It would have been easy for him to just continue his conversation, acting blissfully ignorant of the woman’s struggle, but instead he acted, and offered a helping hand. A twinge of guilt hit me as this Good Samaritan’s deeds reflected my own inaction.
I caught up with him a moment later as we headed into the Ralph’s parking lot. He had resumed his conversation and I assumed he was in the middle of a humblebrag about what had just transpired. But then I heard him say, “Because, you know, it’s only a matter of time before we all need help.”
Once we reached Ralph’s, we headed to departments in different directions. I don’t remember what the guy looked like, but his words struck a cord with me in such a way that I’ve found myself repeating them to countless people. It was a single good deed, but this event has become a valuable lesson and reminder to me of the importance of paying good deeds forward. Even a tiny pebble when dropped into water can cause a enough of a ripple to make a wave. (Read at Superheroes Without Capes)