We're feeling nearly as soggy as this pokeberry plant
It was the first game of the season. The stakes were high. After “deflate-gate”, the animosity toward the Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady was at a record high. In fact, Tom Brady nearly unites Jason (a Steelers fan) and Kyle (a Packers fan) in their “common enemy”. And the Steelers were up against the Patriots in a Thursday evening game.
We don’t have a television, so Jason was headed into town to watch the game when he stopped for gas. This guy approached him with a story. There are plenty of stories out there. This guy’s story was this: he had bussed into town from Winston-Salem to go to court to pay his speeding ticket. It was an expensive ticket, and it was all he could do to gather up the money to do this, but if he didn’t, he’d lose his license. But to his surprise, the court tacked on “court costs” to his amount due, which took all of the money he had. Now, he was stuck in Wilkesboro with no money and no transportation. He needed $17 for a bus ticket back to Winston-Salem.
Elaborate story aside, many of our knee-jerk reactions are distrust and disbelief. And Jason fell immediately into that pattern. But his last $20 began to burn in his pocket (and he knew I’d buy him a beer), and he started to think about karma and good deeds and all that. And he thought, “if I don’t give this guy this $20 and the Steelers lose, I’m going to blame myself. I’m going to think that the loss is punishment for my greed.” So he turned back and gave the guy $20.
He was lauded, much appreciated, called an “angel” and all that. And I did buy him a beer. But at least he couldn’t blame himself for the eventual Steelers loss.