Planning to purchase a TV while on vacation, I did all the proper planning - obtained the address and phone number of the store and had my GPS in my car. What I didn’t know was that the store (and area) was brand new so my GPS couldn’t find the street or any other street nearby.
In addition, I was carrying my old phone which didn’t have Internet access so I couldn’t get directions. I wasted at least 30 minutes trying to find the store on my own.
Being a bit frustrated, I stopped at a gas station and focused on spotting a helpful face. I saw a man going to his car and asked him if he knew where the store was. Luckily, he did and I expected him to tell me so I could write down the directions.
Without blinking an eye, he said, “follow me, I will take you there”. I was shocked as no person in Sweden has ever been so pleasant when I needed help and I've asked many questions to strangers, especially in my early years.
He also mentioned that it would take “ten minutes to get there” which would have been difficult for him to explain and for me to absorb.
Never one to question or not take sincere help when offered, I thanked the man and jumped into my car for the short trip. Once at the store, it was clear the man wasn’t headed in that direction as there were only a handful of large and newly built stores. He turned his car around and I gave him a big wave of thanks. He beeped his horn and his kind act was complete. I was grateful for his guidance as I drove quite a distance to visit this store.
Two lessons from the day stuck with me and may help you as well:
-- Always print or write down directions - I usually print directions even though I have GPS just in case the GPS malfunctions. I have never needed the printed directions previously but there is a first time for everything. This was the time I needed them.
-- Help a stranger when you can - How many times have we been asked directions and simply pointed pointed people in the proper or improper direction? I have. Would it really mess up our day if we took an extra 10 minutes to help someone in need?
I’ve walked strangers to their destination on a few occasions although I can remember other times when I didn’t and could have as I had plenty of time to do so. When I have time, I plan to always help from this day forward.
An “Act of Kindness” is a beautiful thing as it is an invaluable tool in bringing mankind closer together, inspiring one another and connecting in a positive manner. Our complex and diverse world needs all the kindness we can provide.
This man’s eager help was a profound moment for me - one that touched me immensely and I will never forget.
As I have mentioned in previous blogs, one of the most precious times in our lives are the small moments we experience. Make sure to enjoy and learn from them when they occur.
Happy Gswede Sunday!
Photo taken by our friend Mia who is a wonderful photogratpher