I have written about the kindness of strangers a few times on my blog. It usually relates to my disability and helping me with the walking frame or opening the door for me. I recently travelled to New York and had a couple of experiences with strangers that really blew me away. For some reason I haven’t shared them on the blog. It could possibly be because I didn’t want people to worry about me while I was away. It could have been because I just wanted to show my strong side and say to the world that I can do it on my own. Whatever the reason is, I have decided to finally share them with you all.
One day I was heading to Bryant Park with my friend Amanda. I was trailing behind her on my scooter as she managed to overtake me with her manual wheelchair. I was enjoying the ride and taking in the people around me, not focusing on the footpath ahead. Suddenly I felt the scooter start to veer to the right and then everything went into slow motion. The scooter slowly fell to its side with me still on it. There was nothing I could do and so I fell. What amazed me was that a group of people suddenly appeared around me and I was no longer lying on the footpath, but I was back, seated on my scooter.
The people that came to help didn’t know each other, they didn’t know me. They all banded together to help me through this traumatic event. One man even ran off to get me some tissues. They waited around until they could see I had calmed down and had my friend with me.
Another incident occurred on my last day in NYC. My friend and I took a taxi ride downtown to have a breakfast at an Australian owned cafe Blue Stone Lane (if you’re looking for a good coffee, go there!). While we were munching on banana bread and avocado smash on rye, one of the waiters came out to ask us if one of us had left our wallets in the taxi. Straight away I knew it was me and the nausea took over. There was no way that I was ever going to get my wallet back. Luckily I had kept my passport and some extra money in a different wallet and so I knew I would be ok.
Amazingly the taxi driver had remembered me and called the cafe. He made the effort to call and ask for me and then made me the effort to drive back to the cafe, even though he missed me. As we drove back to the hotel, I worried about what I would have to do. Which cards would I have to cancel? How long would it take to get a new driver’s licence? As I bit my thumb with worry my phone rang. Someone at the reception from our hotel rang to tell me that the driver had driven back to the hotel and dropped off my wallet. He had driven back to the café first but had just missed. This man took the effort to drive around without making any money just to make sure I received my wallet.
None of the staff at the hotel could believe that the driver returned my wallet.
These incidents have made me believe that people are mostly good. You just have to remember that it goes both ways.