My cockles were warmed on multiple levels this week by this story. A man riding the New York subway, re-teaching himself fractions so he could help his son, and in turn being offered help by a stranger.
Why the multiple cockle warming, you may ask? (or you may not!)
Firstly the Dad, obvs. I have to be honest, I’ve forgotten most of what I learnt in school maths lessons (trigonometry, anyone?) but the fact that he was taking the time to get to grips with it to help his son is lovely (I know it’s basic good parenting, but I guess a lot of folks would pass the buck to someone else instead of taking the time to re-learn something from many years ago).
Secondly, public transport is a pretty inhospitable place generally, where most people go out of their way to avoid eye contact, much less be nice to someone. So the fact that the older guy acknowledged the situation is in itself a wonderful thing. But to take that a step further, and offer help, is a lovely lovely thing.
Finally, that the Dad accepted the offer of a help as a genuine kindness rather than getting all defensive or dismissive, is probably all too rare in itself these days.
The kid learning fractions isn’t the only winner here. My guess is that both the Dad and the older guy went away feeling pretty good about themselves too.
What do you think? Would you accept help from a stranger?
Thanks, as always, for reading! x