One weekend Johnny K and I went to hear this cool new band in New Hope. We had to buy a parking ticket to place on our dashboard at one of those kiosk's. We had just reached the kiosk when a younger couple approached. It was 8:15, and you only had to pay to park until 9PM, after that it was free. As they walked toward us the woman was saying "I hate to pay $3 for 45 minutes. If we had $1 cash we could just insert that, but minimum for a credit card is $3." The man answered, "I would pay $3 not to get a parking ticket."
Meanwhile I still had not figured out how it worked so I asked her if she knew what to do; suggested she go first and I would watch her rather than her watch me read the directions; especially as I was needing to get my glasses out.
She stepped up. Just then another couple approached. "We misunderstood how to do this so we bought two parking tickets. Anyone want the other one?" I nodded to first couple and they took it. All four of us said thank you. Second couple left smiling because it is so fun to be generous!
And then rather than deserting us, our new friends who were now parking for free, stayed to help. She asked if I had $1, and you know, just before I left the house I saw $3 on my bedside table and tucked it in my pocket, thinking single dollars come in handy sometimes. So I handed her my dollar bill and she slid it into the proper slot that was hidden amongst a jumble of options and arrows that were muddled because I lacked reading glasses.... and handed us our own ticket.
"We all just saved $5!" I said. The woman held open her arms and we had this spontaneous hug, believe it or not.
"She hugged me!" I said to Johnny K, as we walked to see our show. "That was so, so nice!"
Now moments like that will never be on TV and never make the news but it is moments like that that make this life sweet. We tend to get lost in the news sometimes, and fret over how the world is declining, and rant about how there is no more respect for anyone. And yet good moments and lovely people are everywhere. News must find the very worst things to try to grab our attention. They do not film all the wonderful things going on all around the very worst things. And even the very worst things serve such a purpose. They help us realize how we DO want the world to be, help us clearly see how we need to do better.
Now I take credit for starting that, a little. I did not tell the couple behind us that they could ~%}}€ wait a few minutes while we figured out the %#^}* machine....
It is very fun sometimes to try to start some good in tiny ways.