I had dinner with The Clan last Saturday and, as we normally do when the bellies are filled and chatter increases, we moved to the outside tables of the dinner venue for tea, coffee or whatever the folks preferred.
An elderly blind man was making his way on the pavement, white cane tapping before him. There was enough space for him and other pedestrians to walk safely. But not enough, apparently, for this teenaged girl: she had those Princess Leia headphones clamped on her head, she was preoccupied with her phone, and she walked right into the elderly man, cane and all. Several diners rose, ready to help, but all was well, fortunately.
I have plenty to say about folks who are so plugged-in to a digital universe they’ve forgotten how to function in the one they’re in, but this post is about an act of kindness.
“You know, your dad helped a blind man once,” said one of my uncles. “Years ago.”
Oh? I know my father never hesitates to help anyone in need. But this was news to me.
“He was supposed to meet us for a game of badminton but he never showed up. We were worried so we called your mum but she didn’t know where he was either.”
I looked at my father, who stared back. “What? I had no mobile. How to call?”
The story unfolded: my father came out of his office and found a blind man sitting at the bus-stop. When his bus came, he thought he should check if this was the bus the man might be waiting for. The man cited a bus number that did not make a stop where they were. Indeed, that bus came nowhere near where they were.
My father said he explained the situation to the man, and offered to take him to his destination. So they boarded the correct buses (a change was needed somewhere) that took them to the man’s home, forty minutes away.
The man was safely delivered to his frantic family, then my father came home. He missed his badminton game but claimed he had plenty of exercise anyway because he walked home, having used up his transport budget for the man’s fare. Yep, my father is one of those who only carries the amount he needs.
I have no recollection of this event happening back then, but I will remember it now.