Saturday, November 13, 2010

World Kindness Day—To Help Or Not To Help?

November 13 is officially designated as “World Kindness Day.” Now, I try to be kind every day and since I read One Simple Act—Discovering The Power Of Generosity by Debbie Mecomber, I try to be even a little kinder.

However, last Thursday on my way to the bus stop, at the corner of my street was an elderly gentlemen who called me over saying he needed my help. I noticed his car was parked in front of the Mower repair shop with the trunk open. I asked what he wanted but he just kept telling me to come over and help him. He shuffled along as he walked which reminded me of my dad. I said I was on my way to catch a bus and again asked him what he wanted. He just repeated to come over and help me, it’ll only take a minute.

At this point, I just wasn’t sure I had a minute. Here are the thoughts going through my head:
(1) I should be willing to sacrifice my agenda and time to help someone.
(2) Why won’t he tell me what he needs?
(3) Women get abducted all the time, this could be a ploy to get me into his car.
(4) What if I go over and he throws me into the trunk?
(5) I might miss my bus, it could come any minute.
(6) If I don't help, I'm not being like the "good Samaritan."

I just kept walking. Then I saw from across the street at my bus stop that he had a lawn mower in the trunk and thought he probably just needed me to help him unload it. But then, why would he do that when the place was closed? Would he just leave it there for someone to steal? After about another minute or two, he got in his car and drove by, waving to me as he went. At least I was glad he didn’t seem angry with me but then I started feeling guilty for not helping him. If that’s all he wanted, he should have said so. I asked God to forgive me for not helping him and prayed for God to bless that man.

I felt better when I checked my email before work and saw this:
As women, we are always trying
to be sympathetic:
It may get you raped, or killed.
Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women.  He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked 'for help' into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted
his next victim.

It’s too bad we can’t just trust everyone these days, but in this world today, we just can’t.
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Doreen McGettigan said...

It is such a shame but so true...we cannot trust anyone. I perform my acts of kindness in groups!

Sandee said...

I wouldn't have gone over either. You did the right thing. You just don't know about anyone anymore. I'm glad you are okay.

Have a terrific day. :)

Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

Hmm...that's always a hard situation...but if for any reason the alarm flags go off in your head, you should obey safe !!! I'm glad you're fine ...Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

Amber said...

The "gut" feeling is usually right!!
It's probably better you didn't go over to help. If he had said what he wanted it might have been different, but that sounded a bit odd to me too. It's better safe than sorry.

It's really sad that we can't trust everyone! But there are always ways to help others with out the risk of putting your self in danger.

Karen said...

As I was driving home today, I passed a woman who looked to be crying. She was walking along the side of the road. I was tempted to stop and ask her what was wrong but I was scared. I thought about her all day. It is sad we have to be so afraid but I was scared she might hurt me.

BeadedTail said...

You did the right thing. I wouldn't have stopped either. It is terrible that we have to be so careful but it's better to be safe than sorry. It seems that the email was a sign that your instincts were right too.

Angie, Catladyland/Katt Food said...

I would have done the same thing. It really is too bad, isn't it? It's so tough to try and teach my teenage daughter that it's good to be helpful and compassionate, but to be careful at the same time.


Matthew 10:16
Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

Mountain Woman said...

You know Karen I think you were right not to go over there especially with an opened trunk. You have to protect yourself these days first and foremost. It's our inclination to run and help certainly but the world is not all full of good intentioned people. Before we put in our gate, people would always drive right up to our house and I'd always answer the door. Well, one time Carl was away and it was 4 men and I still opened the door. Luckily, I had two very large German Shepherds with me and they ran. You have a responsibility to yourself. I know that was long but I hope it helped.

EmptyNester said...

I don't think I would have gone over just can't be too careful these days! Maybe try something like, "I can't stop right now but, let me call a police officer for you!"

Rebecca said...

Oh Karen, I think you did the right thing. If something had happened to you, it would NOT have been kind to US, your friends who care very much for you.

I think women ARE too sympathetic. If a gentleman wants a woman (or anyone, for that matter) to help him, he should show a little kindness and consideration himself, and allow us to know WHY and WHAT he wants.

It's great you prayed for him. :) That showed kindness, definitely! :D

Ellen Marie "Mama" Pike said...

I think you made the right choice because:
1. He was a stranger
2. You were by yourself

It is hard, though, when we are striving to be a kind person to walk away from potentially helping someone. But you had good reason to be careful in this situation.

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, may all your wishes come true!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing such a useful stuff!

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