I was driving home from the beach this evening and saw a young guy with a suitcase hitching from a bus stop. Having hitched several hundred rides myself, I try to always stop whenever I pass a hitcher (which happens very rarely).
It turned out he had been on a three week English course with EF (in Malta, where I live), but hadn’t been picked up by the taxi or bus that was meant to be taking him to the airport. He had less than two hours before his flight departed and his mum was driving from Perpignan to Barcelona to pick him up. It was thirty minutes extra in the car for me, so I said I’d drop him in the airport. We are so programmed to not get anything in this world for free that he tried to refuse the ride… even though he would have missed his flight.
During my six months of hitchhiking through Europe I encountered so much generosity that it restored my faith in humanity, yet in our normal day to day lives we seem to forget this. Why do we not help other human beings simply for the sake of helping another human being, rather than being strangers?
Play It Forward
Life is not fair and because you are a good person; you do not always get what you deserve, but I do very much like the idea of karma which I interpret as trying to be a decent person when the opportunity arrives.
A few days ago I encountered two other EF students, young girls, in need. One had snapped her front tooth and was crawling on the floor to find it whilst the other was barely conscious, covered in blood. My friend called an ambulance as everyone else was walking past and it arrived with a police escort. Several police officers walked over, looked at the two girls and dismissed (to put it politely) them as drunk (which they were). They then threatened my friend – who was trying to help – for getting involved and we left the girls in the care of the ambulance. Malta, ta?
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace, you
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one
Imagine we just help each other out, play it forward, and try to be decent to one another. That sounds like a pretty good world.
Bonne chance, hope you made your flight.
Note: I work with EF, recruiting teachers for China, and have a lot of respect for the organisation. I mentioned them only by coincidence due the above events which were not their fault.