Acts of Automotive Kindness

My 30 Days of Thanksgiving has been a bit sporadic for various reasons... I think that if I repeat it next year it will be a twitter or facebook exercise rather than a blogging one primarily as November is just too cluttered with other things for me to blog consistently (without taking into account other things cropping up).
However, I have no problems posting a brief "Thank you" in the wake of an unexpected act of kindness yesterday... As friends on facebook/followers on twitter will know I started my day off yesterday with news from my son that the gear box on my wife's car was giving problems. So I had to go fetch it from school and nurse it back across town to our local garage, anticipating yet another outrageous financial outlay on this increasingly decrepit vehicle... This not only filled me with horror at the potential cost, but the chaos that would have ensued this week without having two cars available. They said they would try to look at it yesterday, but that they were very busy, so I walked home in the freezing cold with my heart in my boots.
But about 5 hours later I got a call from the garage saying that everything was fixed and that they weren't charging me anything...
This has put me in a phenomenally good mood, which was particularly welcome for all around me given that I can get a tad grumpy under pressure (and I will be under pressure this week), and because I have had a run of people complaining at me recently for things over which I have absolutely no control, yet for some reason I am responsible... so a little unexpected act of kindness has made a pleasant surprise...
And today, as I was driving one of our two cars in rotten road conditions, I remembered the following video, most of which was taken in much worse road conditions, in Russia, via dash-cams recording road users showing courtesy and compassion, in stark contrast to many of the other dash-cam videos you see recording road rage and appalling crashes, as well as news stories today about road safety campaigners wanting a longer "green man" on pedestrian crossings...



In turn this made me think about a number of "Random Acts of Kindness" blogs that I've read over the past few years... Many of them seem to be in the run up to significant birthdays... Given that my next "significant" birthday will be the half century, I'm not entirely sure I have the self-discipline to keep that sort of thing up for 50 days in the run up to my birthday (just see how pathetic I have been with this "30 Days of Thanksgiving" thing), but you never know... If I do however, I'm not entirely sure I would want to be blogging about it... There was one I came across (that I can't find now) that explored how this helped the writer slough off post-natal depression, but many of of those blogging about such a challenge make them seem not so much random, as extremely calculated, and a few are nauseatingly self-congratulatory... the 4th act of kindness for one was, and I quote,
"Went to the dollar store and hid some dollar bills among the toys in the kids section. I wish I'd had a little more time to stick around and see some happy faces!"
This doesn't chime well with Jesus' instructions in the Sermon on the Mount:
"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honoured by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."
Matthew 6:1-4 (ANIV)

I doubt that the drivers in the above video did what they did because they knew a dash-cam was watching them... That makes their acts of kindness all the more heart-warming despite the cold, cold climate...
And by the way, if you are wanting to know the garage that did me such a good turn, it was Creighton's of Finaghy...

Shalom


Comments

Andy Boal said…
Cool :)

I read the article about extending the green man time, but it doesn’t address the actual problem.

You can start crossing at the last second before the green man goes out or starts flashing - as long as that was the case, it doesn’t matter whether the green man is steady or flashing or out.

It’s up to drivers to remember that a green light means that you may go if the way is clear. If somebody needs extra time to cross the road, the way won’t be clear and drivers need to wait for them to safely reach the kerb.

Extending the green man time won’t make any difference to whether someone crossing the road at the last minute, as they perfectly reasonably can, needs extra time to get to the other side.

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