I was just going to move when I suddenly noticed a cop car pull behind me. In the car with me were Mary (my 5-year-old daughter), and Kevin (my 3-year-old son).
I never liked cops. Cops meant trouble and this sent shivers down my spine!
I saw the officer getting out of his car and walking towards mine as I took out my license. I rolled down my window and showed him my license along with other papers with trembling hands.
He saw the children in the car and said in a heavy tone, “Ma’am, Are you aware of the state of tires of the vehicle you are driving?
Do you know that they need to be replaced or they could cause a crash anytime? I might need to issue a ticket to you for safety negligence”
I knew what was coming ahead!
I had known about this for quite a long time now. However, due to monetary issues, I had delayed the tires’ change.
Embarrassed, I nodded my head in a yes and said, “Officer, I am running short on money right now. But I promise to get them fixed as soon as I get the salary next month.”
He glanced over my sheet and said, “No ma’am. Your car is getting new tires today. I can’t let you drive around with these two beautiful children in an unsafe vehicle like this.”
Weird silence followed because I didn’t have enough money and this cop won’t let me go! I tried explaining the whole situation multiple times.
He was clear that I was not going anywhere with serious safety issues!! Either I would get a ticket or I would get the tires changed.
Eventually, I settled for tires’ change although that was going to be heavy on my wallet. Not only was I short on cash but due to a house change in the recent past, I was short on money in account and cards as well. Whatever I had, I wanted to save that for everyday necessities.
I followed him to an automobile workshop where he discussed the situation with the mechanic. The mechanic came over with a smile and started replacing the tires.
Meanwhile, the cop left as he received some urgent call with a promise that he would be back to check with the mechanic.
Now came the big part - billing. My situation was crucial. I requested the mechanic to allow me some time and keep my ring till I came back with money next month.
The mechanic informed I didn’t need to pay – the bill had already been taken care of.
I was dumbstruck! What? Where? How? He informed me that the cop confirmed the payment before he left in a jiffy.
Despite my repeated requests, the mechanic refused to take the ring. “Before leaving, the officer left a message for you”, he said and gave me the note.
It read “I am not doing you a favor. It is my duty. Someone helped me in the past when I didn’t have a job. I am just paying it forward!
There is no need to return this money to me. If you really feel thankful, please pay it forward once you have enough in the future. - A fellow human”
I had tears in my eyes! “Angels still exist”, I thought.
The memory of the incident is still etched in my heart. The unexpected kindness hits the heart somewhere deep.
Helping someone without any expectations is the trait only a few gems possess. I now try to be one of them.
“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. - Mark Twain”
Surely, we humans need it more than ever. Kindness is not a trait, but a way of life.
The heart knows how to be kind. We just have to remove the ego-based cloak of negativity. The heart can then uninhibitedly radiate its bright light of love and kindness.