On Facebook a friend of mine had this post on her wall: THANK YOU to the GOOD SAMARITAN that rescued the dog running in the North bound lanes on Randall Rd today! Had all lanes of traffic stopped and so scary to watch! Yea I cried!
Would you have been that person? I get all teary imagining that poor dog, and all the people holding up traffic, including my friend, so that it could be guided into safety. I am imagining their cheers and tears in all the cars as the best of humanity played out in front of them on a busy highway. I imagine the patience it took to win over the dog, and also the trust this person had that the dog would not bite him/her. I think about the fast little heartbeat of that doggie, afraid, unsure, and about how soon it will find a place where love and kindness resides, or be returned to the arms of its family.
Have you been the Good Samaritan, or let me ask you this, have you been the dog? Have you been lost and afraid and someone reached out their hand to you? I have.
When our mom died suddenly, twinsie and I flew down to see her before she was cremated. I could barely speak on that journey. I could not look into the eyes of another human being without crying. When a man sat next to me on the first of four flights, and I sat silently, he asked if I was okay (maybe he thought I was a puker or something) and I simply whispered, “I’m on my way to see my mom, she passed away yesterday.” And he said, “I’m so sorry,” and made sure that water was in front of me, even snacks, got my carry on bag out of storage without a single word. He was a Good Samaritan.
When Rick’s dad was dying, we would come down stairs from sitting vigil with him, and our refrigerator was stocked with food, a casserole warmed in the oven with instructions written out, and chocolate chip cookies sat on the counter. Our laundry was folded, our plants were watered, our dog was fed and let out. All acts of Good Samaritans.
When someone opens the door for me, or gets up so I can sit in his or her seat on the train downtown, or waves me through the intersection with a smile even though, technically I should have gone last. They, my friends, show the compassion of the Samaritan.
Being compassionate comes naturally to me, it’s my curse and my blessing, seeing the needs of others, but when it’s shown to me in ways like it was the dog, I am overcome with gratitude, and I feel valued and loved.
What a difference this day would make in the life of another if we showed the compassion of the Samaritan, say, to the telemarketer who calls at supper time, who is just trying to make a living, feed his family. Even if we can’t buy what he’s selling, offering a compassionate ear gives the impetus to carry on to the next call, and maybe the hope that life will get better.
We simply don’t know the impact of a smile, or the gift of time, or opening the door, or giving up our seat, or waving someone through the intersection has. But we know how it makes us feel, as we smile, and move along in our day, and we know that maybe the next time it will be us in need. We just never really know.