Random Acts of Kindness
I was recently "rushing" as I normally do from one meeting to another when I looked at my gasoline gauge and saw I was riding on fumes -- the empty light was glowing brightly.
I had to be at St. Margaret's Hospital for an appointment, but I was still in Shadyside so I went to the nearest gas station to fill up. I promised myself I would not leave my wallet with all the money and credit cards on the top of the car. How could I be stupid enough to forget that? Guess what, I was!
I drove in the rain along Washington Boulevard toward the Highland Park Bridge. Traffic was moving briskly, but then we came to a stop about a quarter-mile before the turn to the bridge.
Suddenly, in the midst of rain and heavy traffic a man is standing at my window, knocking, and in his hands is a soggy red wallet and a handful of credit cards! He had chased me, for God only knows how long, to return these to me.
He said he was a constable, but I never got his name, nor does he have mine! The traffic began to move at that very moment, and he disappeared into the rain and back to his car.
I would dearly love to let this honest and thoughtful young man know how many times I have told this story, and each time our collective faith has been restored!
I was helping out at Third Presbyterian Church's annual rummage sale on Oct. 2 to enable people to park near the church. A family with several small children parked their car close, smiling at me while I was "on guard" with my Labrador dog.
When they came back to store their items, they offered to cheer me up with coffee on a rather cool morning. I thought it was a kind gesture, but dismissed it from my mind as they pulled away.
About a half-hour later, they returned with a hot cup, for which I was so grateful. That was a real act of kindness from folks I did not know.
TIMOTHY T. POHMER
During the brief, but intense, highly damaging storm the afternoon of Sept. 22, I was riding the Port Authority 'T' from Downtown to South Hills Village Station. The system crashed due to downed trees along the tracks, and I was stranded on the trolley about 100 feet before Washington Junction with a Library car at the station in front of mine unable to move.
Although he surely violated policy, the merciful driver eventually let passengers disembark. He pleaded with each of us not to fall as we lowered ourselves about 10 feet to the ground.
Unlike in previous system outages, the Port Authority provided no shuttle buses from Washington Junction to South Hills Village Station. As I wondered how I would get to my car and then home, and contemplated walking to South Hills Village along the tracks, Bev approached me.
She stated that she recognized me as a regular rider and offered me a ride to South Hills Village once her husband arrived to pick her up. I immediately and gratefully accepted.
During a weather challenge, Bev and her husband rode to my rescue. I shall never forget their kindness and generosity when it would have been perfectly understandable to adopt a credo of every man (or woman) for him (or her) self!
OREN M. SPIEGLER
Upper St. Clair
In a suburban Pittsburgh gas station on Sept. 13, a remarkable lady reacted to a pair of exhausted, disoriented, out-of-state seniors with the following statement: "Where do you want to go? Follow me and I'll take you there."
We did, and she did, through rush hour traffic and who knows how many miles out of her way. Only when she'd gotten us to a familiar (to us) landmark did she leave us. To our thanks, she responded, "I'm just someone who loves people."
We are enormously grateful and can only pledge to pass on her great act of kindness.
ANNA MARY WALLACE
First Published October 14, 2010 12:00 am