One evening I dropped my youngest off at cheerleading practice and went to fill the car. As I filled up my tank, another car pulled up next to my pump. The car was rather old and dirty and as I looked at the tired-looking young driver, I tried not to be judgemental.
After what seemed like only 10 seconds of pouring fuel into his car, he went to put the lid back on and I found myself saying to him “can I pay for another $10 for you?”
He looked at me, looked away and looked back again – in these few short seconds I thought he was going to say “no” or, at worst, attack me or something – there goes the judgment again; but then he said, “yes, that’d be great”. So I went and paid my bill and $20 for him (yep $20, not $10!) – my budget’s been a bit tight lately too but my gut told me that it’s not quite as tight as this young fellows.
I came back to my car and he was there, filling up. I wasn’t going to strike up another conversation but then he yelled out “hey, thanks, heaps! Eh, things have been tough, I lost my job and my partner is ill. The $2 of petrol I put in before would’ve gotten me to my job interview tomorrow but now I’ve got enough to last a week.” – Sprinkle the teapot with kindness