Friday, November 13, 2009

Sometimes the Thought Doesn’t Count

A blind friend of mine told me a story. A Good Samaritan spotted him standing about fifteen feet from an intersection, listening to the traffic. The Samaritan rushed to his aid, grabbing his right elbow and wrist to help him to the corner and across the street.

Now rule number one in guiding a blind person is to let them grab you and follow so that they can tell when you step off a curb or onto the next one. By grabbing the blind fellow by the right arm – the one with which he wielded his white cane – the Samaritan had unwittingly disrupted his ability to navigate off and then onto the next curb. Still, though, this blind fellow had been in this situation before and knew enough to just go along rather than resist and end up struggling free; possibly straight into traffic.

As they crossed the road he tried to ask to be taken back, but it was difficult to communicate his protests over the loud motor and air brakes of a bus that was passing. Resolved to his fate, the blind fellow gave up and waited to be delivered to the safety of the opposing sidewalk.

Once there, the Samaritan said, “There you go. Sorry, but you weren’t even close to the corner and I was worried you would step out into traffic. Now, which direction are you heading?”

The blind fellow replied, “Actually I didn’t want to be at the corner, and I didn’t want to cross the street. I was waiting for that bus that just went by.”

Rather than apologize, the Samaritan simply huffed and said, “Well try to help some people out and what do you get? Next time I won’t bother. It’s the thought that counts.”

The blind man simply sighed, “I wish it counted for a good excuse as to why I’m going to be late for work – but sometimes the thought doesn’t count.”