“If you want to find out how nice people are, break something” I thought walking across the Jewel parking lot. Ten minutes later, in a stair well in my building lobby, a young guy sat with a broken foot trying to get to his mailbox. After much coaxing, he accepted my offer to get his mail, help him into his apartment and fetch a glass of water. He said that he had food. If you call 12 boxes of nutrient-free frozen dinners “food,” I suppose that he did. The body is remarkably capable of healing itself but but it needs raw materials such as immobilization, rest and nutrients to do this vital and miraculous work.
He thanked me at least 50 times, couldn’t get over how nice I was and perhaps wondered what the catch was. There was no catch, no hidden agenda, only one human being going a bit out of their way for another. We need more of this in the world, and in my building, resistant as it is to any sense of community.
After I broke my arm in January, I learned to ask total strangers to tie my boots, put stuff in my pockets, and a heavy pack on my back. I discovered the joy of asking for help and finding that many people truly are generous and caring.
So, if you want to find out how nice people are, break something and savor the helpfulness you find.