Sunday, February 11, 2018

Seen: Good Samaritan who drives a Honda Odyssey

Seeing small acts of kindness gives me hope for humanity. Friday afternoon at about 3:40, I gained some hope on Central Ave and Partridge St in Albany near the bus stop.  Here's a Google Maps photo of the area.

But it didn't look like this on Friday. Not at all. It was a busy time of day with a whole lot of traffic, and several of us pedestrians -- and also that afternoon there was snow and slush all over the street and on the sidewalk. 

I was on my way to the post office to put a grant proposal in the mail, and I was rushing because I needed to get back to my office for a meeting at 4. I don't like rushing. It never feels good. 

As I approached the corner to cross Central Ave and go to the post office, I noticed a man in a wheelchair. He had just gotten off a Number 1 CDTA bus, and I believe he was trying to cross Central Ave since he was in the street -  on the edge of the right lane and he was not moving. I started to wonder why he was just sitting there, not moving when I realized that he was not sitting in the middle of the street on purpose, his wheelchair was stuck in the slushy snow in the street.  He couldn't move. Just as I realized the situation, I noticed a woman driving a Honda Odyssey on Central Ave pull over. She got out of her car, walked over to the man, said something to him, helped get the wheelchair unstuck, and pushed him to safety on the sidewalk. 

All of that happened as I crossed Central Avenue. It happened quickly. It was simple. It was just one moment in time that gave me hope to witness a woman's decision to stop in her tracks, and go out of her way and help someone else. I wanted to run over to her and thank her, but I needed to get the grant in the mail and get back to my office. I wish I had gotten a picture of her simple act of kindness and posted it on Twitter and Instagram. To show human kindness on Central Avenue in Albany. To remind folks to stop and help each other. To remind myself slow down and not rush because really what good does it do?  I didn't get a picture, but I did manage to jot down her license plate. I believe it is HFV 6074. She has a Lyft sticker on her windshield. And I bet she's one of those people who never thinks twice about stopping to lend a helping hand because it's just the right thing to do.

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