Generally, I avoid these. My heart is cold, icy, bloodless like a stone, and I like it that way. Wonderful stories of good people doing good things are my Kryptonite.
A couple of days ago I was driving my son home from the finish of his junior year in college. We were talking about things. “Dad,” he said, “your outlook on life is pretty Hobbesian.”
I flushed with joy that any child of mine would have exited a year of college having read Hobbes, not the stuffed tiger. But it bummed me out ever so slightly–and I do mean slightly–to think that the outlook of this rather grim philosopher was being applied to me. Life and the state of nature?
There is no place for industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea; no commodious building; no instruments of moving, and removing, such things as require much force; no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and shortLeviathan, Thomas Hobbes
A few hours later my son was on a plane, destined for a small village in the Balkans where he would spend the summer teaching English and learning Croatian. I returned home to work.
And then, what to my wondering eyes should appear, was a beautiful story about a stolen bike that had found its way home. I hope you click on this link, especially if you are even a little bit Hobbesian, as no matter if your heart is as flinty as mine it will kindle the tiniest spark of warmth when you read about how good people can turn a really rotten bit of thievery into a strong human connection of people doing the right thing BECAUSE IT’S ALWAYS THE RIGHT TIME TO DO THE RIGHT THING.
There is so much goodness to the story that it’s incredible. The obvious stuff is amazing–stolen bike in California gets found on the East Coast. And then the buyer, after buying the stolen bike and having no hope of a refund, checks Bike Index, confirms her suspicions, and alerts the true owner. The bike gets reunited, and then the true owner “buys” the bike back from the person who bought the fenced item even though she doesn’t want the money.
Best of all, there’s no true crime story where a bad person gets hung up by the thumbs and sent to Trump’s immigration prison. Instead, the true owner recognizes that we’ll never know who stole the bike, and that’s okay. What matters is that a unique ride was brought home to live in quiet and harmony happily ever after (albeit on a trainer), and through a dastardly act a profound friendship was made.
I felt something inside when I read this story. Hope it doesn’t spread.
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