A Good Samaritan

Link: Horganism: My Christian Savior.

John Horgan’s meeting with a modern-day Good Samaritan leaves me humbled. I spend too much of my weekend driving children from A to B and back to A for no benefit to myself apart from my relief that they want to go somewhere, anywhere. But to help out a complete stranger in this way? I fear I would not be so heroic. I have certainly missed my stop in the same way as John Horgan before now, though — most usually by being absorbed in a book. It is easier to do on the Underground than on the regular train, I find.

5 thoughts on “A Good Samaritan

  1. I am married to a samaritan of this ilk. Once, long ago, he had driven me to Meriden, CT to take the train to NYC (we were living in Middletown, CT). He was waiting with me on the platform when my train came in. Various people got off, including one very disoriented oldish woman — the conductor was putting her off the train because she didn’t have the fare. Other passengers were getting away from her because she was obviously odd and upset. My dear husband asked her what was wrong. I got on the train while he was talking to her (that train only stopped for a moment), but later found out that he’d discovered this woman was trying to get to her sister’s place — had traveled down from somewhere around Boston, was trying to make it to somewhere in western CT. Allan got her sister’s phone number from her, talked to the sister who confirmed the one coming to visit her was a bit mentally ill, but really was trying to get there, and then he took her to a bus station and bought her a ticket on the right bus.
    When we were first together in NYC, I saw him do something similar. We were walking up Broadway when the M-4 bus stopped and an old man stumbled in the snow trying to reach the lowest step of the bus. Everyone else around either looked the other way or walked away (as is the way on the streets of NYC); Allan immediately went to help the old man get on the bus.
    I think my husband’s kind of altruism has to do with how he was raised, but I sure do know the effect this man’s character had on me: Reader, I married him!

  2. There’s always a mixture of fear and desire to do the right thing in these sorts of situations, I find. Once my father picked up a middle-aged hitch-hiker. Since he had three kids in the back he thought this would be quite safe…and he felt sorry for the woman, she was in the middle of a Welsh nowhere and the weather was cold and wet. Gradually, as she talked, he began to suspect that she’d discharged herself from a mental institution. I think he dropped her to near where she’d wanted to go, which wasn’t that far – but I think he was a little more cautious about being a good Samaritan to hitch-hikers after that.

  3. We don’t pick up hitchhikers, but someone obviously in trouble? To me that’s common decency – or maybe I’ve taken away more from Africa than I credit.

  4. Yes, your husband is a saint, Susan (Balee), I agree. Nice to see you, Susan (Barr). I am too scared to pick up hitchhikers, I have to say. Spooky story, Clare.

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