I remember once when I’d just turned eighteen and was struggling for money. You needed a car to where I lived; the distance from A to B was far too great to walk—believe me, I tried. It takes three hours—so a car was necessary. Petrol was therefore a huge strain on my dwindling cash stash. One day I was shocked to find I didn’t have enough money to pay for petrol on either of my cards (one of which was supposed to have my child support money from my father in). I tried again and again to access the money I’d thought I had, but was declined even $5 on either card. I could see the impatience on the teller’s face as I tried to wrangle up some of the money in small change, but I didn’t have enough. I was at the point of trying to get even $2 from either card. I was desperate – this whole fiasco had taken around fifteen minutes. I could hear people tapping their feet in line behind me. I was distraught; It was the first time I couldn’t fend for myself. I felt like everything I’d worked so hard for was worth nothing. I felt like I was nothing. I was angry at my father for once again abandoning me. I was helpless. Tears threatened to choke my eyes; it was real, and it was really happening to me.
It was at this point that a stranger had stepped in. He paid the rest of what I owed and said: “Don’t worry about it, mate. I’ve been in your position.”
I could barely speak to thank him. I rushed to my car and began to bawl my eyes out. I cried for my embarrassment, I cried for my anger and I cried for my sadness. But most of all, I cried for his kindness.
I don’t even remember what he looks like, but I will never forget that day, and I will never forget him. He was there for me just when I’d given up hope. That day, I promised to educate myself and never be unable to pay for myself again. I promised that I would always be a kind and good person; a person who helps others simply because others need to be helped.
It was the day that my faith in humanity was restored. And I could never thank that man enough.