I went for a bike ride the other day. Halfway in to my ten mile round trip I got a flat tire. Grumbling, I set off on my five mile walk with bike in tow. After about ten minutes, and dozens of passers-by, someone finally asked if I needed a hand.

This friendly stranger stopped to examine my bike. He pulled out this nifty little pump and tried to inflate my tire for me. After serveral failed attempts, I simply thanked the man for his efforts and sent him on his way.

The whole way back, I thought to myself - Would I have stopped, if the roles were reversed? My honest answer is probably not. I’m not generally a very outgoing, friendly guy. I’ve never stopped to help a stranded motorist on the side of the road…

You know, we’re told so often about people being attacked or abducted in situations like that. If my car broke down on the road at night, I would probably refuse help from a stranger. Crazy, isn’t it? And I certainly wouldn’t stop to help someone, for fear they think me some homicidal maniac.

I was quite depressed on the walk home. What a sad world we’re living in. How nice it would be if an honest helping hand didn’t have to be second guessed.

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