I’ve been trapped in my apartment for a couple of days now as a pretty fierce ice storm and occasional snow showers are making their way through central Ohio. During a brief respite in precipitation, I decided to take the opportunity to bundle up and take out the trash.
As I carefully made my way through the frozen (and very slick) parking lot, a car paused to give me the right of way. That was nice, I thought to myself as I waved a quick thank you and shuffled by. Once I passed the car the driver pulled up next to me and I saw that it was what I presume to be an off-duty mailman. (He was in the USPS coat, but clearly driving his own vehicle.) He rolled down the window and said, “Why don’t you throw those in the back and I’ll drop ‘em off. It’s on my way.” I stared at him incredulously, and said “Are you sure? I really don’t mind!” He said that it was not a problem and that he didn’t want to see me fall on the ice.
I was sort of stunned for a moment after I thanked him and he drove away. This kind stranger insisted I put my trash bags on the back seat of his car and let him haul them to the compactor.
Trash—especially a stranger’s—is gross.
And taking out the trash is never a fun chore—regardless of the weather.
This humbling experience is a great reminder to take the time to do a kind or thoughtful act here or there for a stranger. You never know what kind of day they’ve had and how much of an impact a simple favor can make.