How a Stranger Can Inspire You

It seems to be an ever increasing tendency to find myself unsurprised with the lack of kindness expressed by strangers. I should, however, like to make note of a more recent experience I’ve had.

During the second large snow storm this year, I found my car to be almost entirely covered by snow. Not owning a shovel, I proceeded to brush off what I could, and decided I would wait for more snow to melt before attempting to move the car from my parking spot. Apparently, noticing my distress, a neighbor called out his window, offering the use of his shovel. Gladly accepting, I set out to free my car from its icy tomb, which I thought was going to hold my car for the foreseeable future.

After about twenty minutes or so, my neighbor appeared yet again, with a second shovel, and the kind offer to assist in my efforts. Another thirty minutes later when my car was out of my spot, I thanked him profusely. When I asked if there was anything I could do to help him in the future, his response was “naw man, just pay it forward.”

At that moment, I was inspired by his kind words and generousity. Pay it forward. Such a simple concept we’ve all heard so many times, yet we act upon it so infrequently. Yet now, this previously unknown neighbor has inspired me to return in-kind.

So what can we do to help each other, to help ourselves? How can we make a difference in the lives of others such that they walk away from you saying “I did something different, something good; and I want to do it again?”

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