This morning I was running to catch the bus. As I jumped on board I realized I didn’t have my monthly municipal transit pass, because this month I am marrying Kathi Kamen Goldmark (see Kathi’s blog about the wedding dress wars, which begins, “It was the best of times, it was the worse of times”) and so didn’t need a full month of Muni rides. Reaching in my pocket, I discovered I didn’t have anything smaller than a five dollar bill. They don’t give change on Muni, so I figured I was stuck and offered to give the driver the fiver. To my surprise, he refused the money and waved me on.
“I’ll give you a ride,” he said. And as I was getting off the bus, he insisted on giving me a transfer so I wouldn’t be ticketed on the train.
Amid all the competition of our days—for money, for prestige, for sexual partners, for a parking space—it’s often the kindness of strangers, or for that matter family and friends, that gets us over. Why is it that this is so surprising, when it really happens quite often? I imagine many of you can tell stories similar to mine.