Lynn's post on her blog, Spilling Ink in Public about Random Encounters reminded me of a random encounter I had that touched me.
I had to go to the dentist while in law school. I was a broke student who was easily triggered by dentists. I waited until the pain was unmanageable before going. I went in and warned the dentist that I really didn't like having dental work done. He was so nice. He was an older gentleman - old enough to be my father. He talked to me throughout the process. When he finished his exam, he told me things were worse than he initially thought. I needed a big filling.
After the talk about what all was involved, of course I needed to know about costs. He said it depended on how deep the filling would be and how many shots of Novocaine I needed. I told him to keep it minimized. Here I am, a huge sissy about dentists and actually asking him to go easy on the pain meds.
He filled the tooth with little discomfort to me. I thanked him and went out to pay. The receptionist smiled and told me there was a zero balance. She said that the dentist had said that he knew I was a student and had no money. He wanted to help me out. All he asked is that someday when I was in practice that I return the favor.
I have already returned the favor once. I recounted the story and asked the person I helped to pass it on. I intend to do it again as I can. It is such a good feeling to know that this stranger cared enough to help me. And I want others to feel the same way.