People as whole often get a bad rep. It's hard to ignore all the news about injustice, bigotry, hate, indifference, and crime without feeling a little bit skeptical about the human race. But occasionally something happens that makes you remember that we are all as one, that helping out those in need is a way of insuring the growth and prosperity of a community.
Last week a story came out of Orange County, California, that gave my spirit the little boost that it needed. Todd Jones works as a driver for both Uber, and Lyft. When his car broke down and caught fire late last week he was about to lose not only his sole source of income, but the place that he sleeps as well. Though he is gainfully employed, he is still homeless and lives out of his vehicle.
He had broken down near the 405 freeway when he was spotted by a police officer. The cop suggested that he move his car across the street to a local business park. Normally an unauthorized car broken down on private property would be grounds to have it towed and impounded, but the people who work at this particular business park had other ideas.
The American idea of picking yourself up by your bootstraps is ingrained in society. Jones who is 46-years-old only makes a few hundred dollars a month driving for the ride sharing services, he combines that with his monthly disability check. He makes his car payments, pays for insurance, pays his phone bill and takes care of his other needs. When all is said and done there isn't enough left over to rent an apartment, or even a room somewhere.
The people who work in the business park have seen the resilience of this man, and they have gone out of their way to show their appreciation for this attitudes toward life. The brought him food and water, extended a power cable to his car so that he can charge his phone, allowed him the use of an on-site shower, and even lent him money to get by. Money I might add, that he has already paid back.
That help might not seem like a big deal, but to a man like Jones, it means all the world. It allowed him to sort out the issues with his car, enabling him to rent a car through a partnership between Hertz and Lyft. His wallet had been stolen in August which had enough documentation in it to help thieves steal his disability check, that situation is now on the road to be fixed as well. Small kind gestures can go a long way, just ask Todd Jones.
The most dangerous thing in the world is the indifference of good people.