So this website is AWESOME: www.givesmehope.com. It describes itself as "FML for optimists."
I've adopted the phrase as a catch phrase and love wandering around finding things that "give me hope." It really makes the days bright (cliche, but true). Weeeeeell, a few days ago I encountered a situation that gives me hope that there are good people everywhere.
I have a student who's girlfriend is studying abroad in Seattle. He asked me if I would take some things over to America and ship them UPS to her since they have had most of their packages lost. Well, I understand that pain and agreed. So Monday he brought me a (heavy) plastic bag full of asian crap for her (teddy t-shirts, hair bows, hello kitty paraphanelia).
I rode the bus home and tucked the bag away in the overhead compartment since the bus is always so packed and I didn't want any shifty eyes from my co-workers. While on the bus there was a Chin.ese teacher who was obviously wanting to talk. It's funny after some time here you can pick up on when someone is anxious to try out their English. haha. Well finally I just leaned over and said, "hello" because the man's anxiety was killing me. Turns out he spent a year in Australia and his English is perfect. He is a math teacher at my university. So we had friendly co-worker talk until I reached home and I left the bus...without the bag from my student.
dun dun dunnnnnnn.
I realized that I didn't have the bag about an hour after I got home and called my liaison person who is basically worthless. (mean - but true). He told me, "I hope you are lucky enough" to get it back. I resolved myself to waiting until the next day to go to the foreign affairs office and see if anyone picked it up off the bus or if the bus drivers turned it into the school. I decided not to stress and just went about my happy little afternoon.
I had a dinner date and was about to leave my apartment when a loud knock on my door startled me. I opened it and low and behold it was the man from the bus! With my bag! And his 3 year old daughter!
He had continued on the bus to the next stop and had noticed that I left my bag. He told me, "I thought you might be worried so I tried to find you." I have no idea how he found out where my apartment is since he didn't even know my name, (but I guess finding the redheaded foreign teacher's house isn't that difficult). He picked his daughter up from daycare, came to my campus, and walked up 5 flight of stairs to return the bag to me.
I was stunned.
There are good people out there.
I wasn't so shocked that he had recovered the bag, but that he had taken the time to go out of his way to return it directly to me. I know that if the situation was reversed I would have maybe left the bag at the gate, or taken it to the office the next day. But this man inconvenienced himself because he thought I "might be worried".
This was a big encouragement to me. The next time something like this happens I hope I think about Li (finally got his name) and go a little further out of my way to help someone. Instead of just thinking I am doing what is right, I should do a little bit more, even if it means going out of my way in order to help someone. He really encouraged me not just to do "basic good" but to really extend myself. I'm not really sure in what specific situations, but I know that when one arises, Li's kindness will be an example to me.
Gives me hope.