He stumbled across my path and snapped me out of wherever my absent-minded thoughts were, as I instinctively lurched forward to prevent him falling and brought both of us back to balance. He showed me a yellow piece of paper with some scribbles and the name of a building which he was trying to get to.
“Where is Argle Street?” he asked me in a very feeble voice. “I think that I may have missed it.” He was perhaps in his 70’s but looked frail and disoriented.
The building which he was going to was close to where I work and I was also heading in the same direction.
“I am going that way. Why don’t you walk with me and I will get you there.”
He was thankful for the invitation but as we started to walk, I realize that at the pace he walked, we probably would not get to the building in a quick enough time. I also needed to get to work.
“Why don’t I call a cab?” I suggested to him. “I think it will be too much of a long walk for you.”
He did not respond but looked rather pensive and confused. Perhaps he was thinking of the risk he would be taking with a stranger putting him in a cab. What a vulnerable situation for a person to be in.
I called a cab which arrived a few minutes later. We got into the cab and then he showed me the Medicare Alert Bracelet which indicated that he suffered from memory loss. “Sometimes I just can’t remember.” he said apologetically. “I am so sorry.”
I had never seen one of these bracelets before but I was relieved to know that someone like him had a small level of protection through the bracelet and that there was a number to call. At the same time, I also wondered why he was walking on the streets all alone in his condition…. why did he not have someone guiding him?
Within a few minutes, we got to the building where he was going to, which he instantly recognized. I walked him across the street and he thanked me profusely and in the sweetest voice said “You are so sweet!”
I walked back to the cab and it was then I realized that I had no money to pay the cab. In my decision to help the man, I simply acted without any thought of cost.
My own workplace was a block away. I got back into the cab and thought I would have to ask the cab driver to wait while I went inside to get money from someone in the building which would be a bit embarrassing.
Interestingly enough, when the cab pulled up in front of my building, my boss was outside smoking. Seeing me climb out of the cab, he immediately started walking towards me and said “You need something?” and before I could answer, he pulled out his wallet from his pocket. (I have known him for many years and have never had that kind of experience with him – in fact I have not had that experience with anyone!)
“Yes, please.” I said. Just $10.”
As I related the story to him, he shook his head. By now, he is used to my unusual encounters with people.
This incident may seem quite trivial – just one person helping another. However, I cannot help but think of the events from a deeper perspective.
Was I the angel for this man today? Why did God choose me? Why did this man chose me? Was it part of our destiny for our paths to cross? Was there a greater force that ensured my boss was standing outside at that precise moment I needed the $10? It seemed that everything was divinely set up to make sure that this gentleman was taken care of.
What if I had simply left him on the side of the street?
Each day presents us with a clean slate to increase our deposits of good on this earth and to go deeper into our souls and challenge ourselves to do good fearlessly. When we have the courage to do even a small act of kindness, the universe blesses us even when it is not obvious right away. Doing good, makes us feel good… and feeling good naturally attracts more and more goodness to our lives.
I have also learned that many of our seniors really do not have anyone to take care of them – it is the sad reality. Researchers found 19 per cent of men aged 70 to 89 years had so-called mild cognitive impairment. The following article describes this situation in more detail.
Both men and women can slow down memory loss by reading and going to the movies, as well as keeping up with friends and family, eating healthy foods and being physically active. Doing brain games and puzzles are also good activities.
Let us TuneIn to what is around us and StepUp to pay attention to our vulnerable ones on a daily basis.