The other day I was with my roommate, walking down Haight street on our way home. She asked me, “do you think it’s safe to walk through Golden Gate Park at night?” I answered without hesitation, “Sure, I mean I’ve never been mugged.” She laughed at my answer, not quite what she was expecting and it didn’t give her the reassurance she was hoping for. That being said, we wanted back on the main street.
I’ve had some random unfortunate events in my life. I was hit by a car when I was walking crossing the street 2 blocks from my house. I feel asleep at the wheel and totaled my car, breaking my mother’s back. But I’ve never had anything maliciously done to me on purpose (note: this is not me asking for something bad to happen, I swear). After I was hit the lady stopped, was frantic, and called 911 for me. When I totaled my car another car driving near me stopped to see if we were ok, and an off duty firefighter pulled over to make sure we were ok. Yes, thinks could be better, but thankfully the people around me made sure it wasn’t worse.
Yesterday I was riding my bike home from work and had two more bouts of kindness:
- Example 1: Waiting to cross the street at the start of the Wiggle (where the homeless like to hang out) my bike started to lean while I still had my foot clipped in (bikers, you know exactly what I’m talking about). I fell down in slow motion, cursed, and watched my water bottle roll into the street. Luckily, a biker behind me stopped to see if I was ok and grabbed my water bottle for me. “Aaaah,” I thought to myself. My embarrassment turned to thankfulness.
- Example 2: One of the last turns on the Wiggle has a place for bikers to wait so they can be in the left lane. This is marked with green at the end of the lane. A car was sitting right on top of this, taking up the spot where we would wait on on our bikes. Instead of any yelling back and forth, the driver asked questions as the biker explained the meaning behind the paint on the pavement he was occupying. The light changed to green, and they both rolled away with a wave. “Aaaaah,” I thought to myself. Harmony.
The lesson I relearned is that we need to have some faith in the people around us. Not everyone is out to get you. Not all homeless people will hurt you. Not all drivers hate bikers and visa versa. Sure, bad things happen, and people are not always nice. So what can we do about it? Be kind, smile, and be grateful for the people that surround.