My husband needed to go to Montana to visit a lab for his work. We decided to make a family trip of it. Planned a week long vacation in Helena MT. We are about 5 hours into the drive when our car over heats. We pull off at the port of entry in Sheridan, WY and we are stumped. No idea what we are going to do. We have 0 cell reception. A really wonderful guy came over and helped us get the vehicle to a shop in town after saying he can see that it's our hose leaking. So we get there and replace the hose. A pretty easy job requiring a screwdriver and pliers. We thank the guy who told us God told him to help us. Weird. We get in the car and decide to grab some food before we leave town. Low and behold, over heating again. The kids and I walk to McDonald's while my husband attempts to find out what is wrong with the car. A wonderful man pulls up to him and tows the Dodge to a mechanic shop. Then comes for us and takes all of us to a car rental place so we can rent a car to continue our trip. He arranged for our vehicle to be fixed while we were gone. Told us God told him to help us.
It was a devastating time. Our first real problem while traveling. Without the help of those men I have no idea what we would have done.
Needless to say, we've gone back to Church. I figure if God sends you a sign as clear as that, best listen. And we ended up at a Church full of people we actually like, who like us. It's like we found our home.
This book flipped my beliefs about people and made me realize that I'd been brainwashed to believe that people were secretly monsters just waiting for an opportunity to do bad things. The reality is that we're hardwired for goodness and it's our "civilization" that needs us to play the "eat or be eaten" game in order to keep enriching the tiny few that control the world. Rebecca Solnit documents numerous examples of disasters wherein people are jarred out of their competitive mindset and instantly revert to an altruistic mode of action, freely and happily doing anything they can to help others. I'm not describing this nearly as well as the book. Our goodness is of no financial benefit to our elites, and they need us to believe that we need them to police our behaviour (for a small fee) in order to maintain "civility".
In the past year my interactions with others has been minimal, but I do have one train of events hardwired into my brain. When I was a child, I remember looking into the window of a 5 & 10 store with my friend when a little old lady walked up and gave use each a dime. It might as well been $million. I had another incident in college when I was struggling to make tuition. I reached in my coat pocket one day and found $200.00. I have no idea how it got there. My wife and I, during our young broke years, were traveling when our car broke down. The local garage repaired it for the cost of the parts. I suspect I was not charged for some of the parts.
I have tried to return the favors. On one occasion I gave away $500.00 for someone trying to move a house that had been given to them. On another, I purchased a car for $500 that a friend fixed up to help a woman get out of an abusive relationship. More recently, I was driving through TN and saw a car blowing steam out from under the hood. Clearly, the family was without financial means. I pulled into a gas station , and a young gentleman was trying to figure out how he was going to pay for a hose for his car that has broken down on the highway. Of course, I picked up the bill. Another traveler then offered him a ride back to his car. To be clear, I do not donate to religious organizations, and I am highly selective of charities. I like to know where my money is going.
Unrelated tip ... I always look up the salary and fringes of the CEO before I donate.
Good decisions come from experience. Experience comes from making bad decisions. Mark Twain
My son's girlfriend needed to move and apartments are *really* pricey here.
She found a basement apartment and the Landlord asked for $1400/month rent.
However, there was a weird storm and some water got in and damaged a bit of the flooring, so he said he'd reduce the rent to $1200.
However, when he got the floor fixed, he said, "you're just one person, I'll leave the rent at $1200 unless you get a room-mate.
So she got a temporary roommate and he put the rent up, but then the roommate left so he put the rent back down again "because of covid".
Then her mom was coming from India to stay for a year. Her Mom was to arrive a couple of days before Christmas. She went to the Landlord and asked if he'd like a little extra for Dec and said that she'd start paying the higher rent for January. The Landlord said, "But your mom's retired you said, and she won't be working. No, your rent can just stay at $1200.
Yes - people are basically kind. In this market, he could easily charge the higher rate and could have been doing so for most of the last year and a half. But he's a really nice fellow, and he seems happy to "be nice" rather than get every cent he could.