The Kindness of Strangers

Sometimes you need to have done something pretty dumb to remind you how great the people in Toronto are.

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How I relish the opportunity to write thank-you notes because of my silliness.

Today was the Track & Field Meet for our region of schools. While our school is wonderful in every way that is truly important, we are still growing in athletics – and we only had a handful of our students up for our regional meet. Along with a fabulous student teacher, I drove our kids from our downtown core to the east end.

And left my headlights on when we got there for our day-long meet.

Imagine our delight and pleasure, especially mine after a long day in the sun supervising teenagers, at finding their teacher “in charge” had so wisely emptied her car battery, leaving us stranded in Scarborough. And of course, I would front-end park – facing a nice, big curb, making it impossible for a car to make it close enough to give me a boost.

Still miraculously full of energy (or trying to avoid making it back to school in time for the last class), I heard suggestions of “pushing the car into the parking lot” so another car could get near enough to give me a boost – which would leave any teacher with more imagination any number of scenarios involving crushed children.

And who should save me but Mama and Papa Bear – I would need no more than a bashful phone call to explain that I needed a rescue but that they would hop into their truck to hope to jump a curb.

And of course, the kind soul owning the car – and a set of jumper cables – next to mine should appear, promptly offering to do a little hero work. Papa Bear’s prediction of having someone else rescue me before they arrived came true.

The most beautiful part was how this stranger tried to say it might not have all been my fault – one of the terminal things in the battery is loose, which might have caused some battery starting issues…

Within twenty minutes, I managed to inconvenience quite a few wonderful people with my absent-mindedness, and solve a crisis of my own making.

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The hand of a friendly stranger.

But I’m pretty glad that in Toronto, you can always count on people to help you out.

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