Tag: Kindness of Strangers

The Kindness of Strangers: Traffic Light Edition

The Kindness of Strangers: Traffic Light Edition

I left work very angry today. That isn’t something I do often. In fact, I could probably count the times that has happened in the last 4 years on one hand.

As I rode along the expressway on my commute home, I sat stewing. I was going over and over imaginary conversations and what if scenarios in my mind. With each passing mile I was getting more angry. I tried to reason with myself, to back away from the ledge of being good and pissed off. But, my self-absorbed anger hung over me like a cloud.

Just a few miles from home, I slowed to a stop at a traffic light. Watching and waiting for the light, I glanced to my right at the car in the turning lane. There from the drivers seat, a woman threw me a lifeline. In one fluid gesture, she raised her eyebrows, smirked her lips and nodded her head up and down as if to say, “Wow, niiiiiice bike.”

In that moment I smiled in spite of myself and nodded a thank you. Before I knew what was happening, I felt tears well up in my eyes. Some strange combination of shame and relief had overwhelmed me.

Her gesture, as simple as it was – changed me in that moment. She put a bandaid on my day and made things all better. I wish I could have hugged her.

What you do and what you say matters to people. Even if you never see them again.

Orange Triumph Tiger Triumph Logo

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Kindness of Strangers: Mad Map Edition

Kindness of Strangers: Mad Map Edition

Mad Map Northern CaliforniaWhen Kenny and I were heading south on California 96, we traded places with another group of riders along the route a few times. When we stopped in Weitchpec for gas, they were not long in pulling in behind us. An FJR came wheeling in to the lot and parked closest to us. The rider swung his leg over the bike, pulled off his helmet and… is that Donald Sutherland?

“Lee” was a kindly man. He had a gentle but enthusiastic demeanor and looked you in the eye as he spoke. He and his band of merry men were tearing up the backroads on the last leg of their yearly week-long sojourn. Like us, they were heading back to the Bay area.

He asked where we were from and what would bring us to of all places, tiny Weitchpec. So, I told him that we were from New York and that we were just kind of bumming around for the week. He gave me a big smile and a handshake and said, “Well… welcome to California.” He then said he had something for me and walked over to his motorcycle.

When he came back to me, he handed me a Mad Maps – Northern California map and said “Enjoy our state.” I thanked him with my whole heart and he waved it off with a smile saying, “Hey, we’re all scooter riders.”

After we went our separate ways, Lee stayed on my mind for the rest of the day. He didn’t have to give me his fancy map, or be kind or even say “Hello.” But, he did. Now and forever when I think of that day, that tiny gas station in the middle of nowhere; every time that I look at my new map – I will think of Lee.

I was taught a lesson in that exchange. A valuable one. What you do and what you say matters to people. Even if you never see them again.

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The Kindness of Strangers: For Good Luck

The Kindness of Strangers: For Good Luck

Sold - Two Triumph TigersWhile Kenny and I were standing outside of the dealer doing the final walk-around of the bikes, a man who was also a customer walked over to my bike. In his hand he held a folded dollar bill. He smiled at me, quietly tucked it under the seat of my Tiger and said, “for good luck.”

I said what I always seem to say when I am touched by the thoughtfulness of a stranger, “I hope your good will comes back to you ten-fold.” And I meant it.

This person who didn’t know me from Eve felt moved to wish good fortune on me. I was really touched by that.

Not a day goes by in this life where I don’t say, “Wow.”

Have you ever been touched by the kindness of a stranger?

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