Good Samaritans

Scott rode his bike to New Jersey yesterday afternoon.  Crossed over the GW bridge and onto a bike trail.  Just as I walked in the door from work, I got a call from him.  Not good:  he had gotten a flat.  This wouldn't have seemed like such a big deal if we had a car that I could just go pick him up in.  But, we live in Manhattan!  Owning a car here is an extremely expensive improbability.

So we debated what exactly we needed to do.  He didn't really know where he was, so I couldn't exactly call a cab and send it to his locale.  He was near a bus stop that said "Rockland Coach Route 9A"--so I looked that up online and saw that it was a bus that would eventually get him into the city.  The problems?  It didn't come to his stop for another hour and a half, it was going to drop him off at Times Square, and there was no telling if the bus driver was going to be feeling generous enough to let a cyclist and his bike on the bus without paying the fare.  Oh yeah, did I also mention Scott had no money on him?!

The only option that really seemed like a possibility was for me to get in a cab, have it head towards his general direction, and hope that we saw him somewhere.  Then pick him up, somehow stuff his bike in the cab, and eventually get back home, $50 poorer.  Kind of a bummer, but certainly better than having your husband stranded in New Jersey, 6 miles away!

Somewhere in between our many rushed phone conversations trying to figure out what to do (also, Scott's phone was dying.  Seriously?!), a very kind man stopped and gave Scott an extra tube he had to fix his tire.  Good Samaritan #1.  And as I was waiting for the elevator to go downstairs to catch a cab and head over the bridge, I got a call stopping me.  Another cyclist had stopped and lent Scott his pump.  Good Samaritan #2.  With the help of total strangers, Scott was able to get back on that bike, and pedal back home to me!

These two men that helped him probably really weren't doing anything super out of the ordinary for them.  Cyclists are, after all, a generally friendly bunch by nature.  But as these two men stopped to help, and turned a situation that was about to be an evening-ruining disaster into a simple bump in the road, I felt extremely grateful.  Especially in light of the riots in London, with so much senseless violence and destruction and people turning against their own neighbors, I liked being reminded that it's kindness that is inherent in humanity, not cruelty.  It is our first instinct as humans to help rather than hurt.  Let's all remember to follow that instinct as often as we can.


  1. you are so right...i wish we would focus more on generosity and kindness as being our dominant traits instead of claiming that evil is in our nature.