Friday, May 10, 2013

Good deeds

Every morning I pick up a copy of the free Metro* tabloid newspaper at the Tube stop and read it on the way to that day's adventure.

Amid the news stories, which tend toward the lurid, is a feature of which I have grown fond: "Good Deed Feed." (I also read "Pet of the Day" and "Rush-Hour Crush" but that has nothing to do with the plot of this post—I just mention it to give you a deeper insight into my character. Heh.)

"Good Deed Feed" passes along brief thank-you messages from grateful Brits to various good samaritans they've encountered. A lot of them have to do with people returning lost items, paying fares for hapless commuters who unexpectedly find themselves without cash, or helping those who have fallen down, are sick, or are lost.

Not only is it pleasant to read about happy outcomes to everyday disasters, I like it because it reminds me that I have been the beneficiary of Good Deeds myself. At the risk of sounding like Zuzu from It's a Wonderful Life, I'll bet that every person who experiences a kindness like this passes it along in some way to another person. And it's wonderful for this recovering misanthrope to have my fellow humans watching my back:

There are several kind London Underground employees who have refunded money to my Oyster Card on various occasions, when I lost it by improperly "touching in" on the card readers. (Trickier than you'd think.)

And more kind people who pointed me in the right direction or even let me tag along with them when I didn't know how to get somewhere—including the lovely British couple on their way to the Isabella Plantation at Richmond Park, who had just spent two weeks on a road trip from Mississippi to Nashville.

Young men who have given up their seats for me on the Tube a couple of times—not because I'm less able to stand, just out of kindness. (I'm not even a "Super Adult," as they call senior citizens here.)

And many other Londoners who have gone out of their way to be polite, helpful and friendly, from people I've met during walking tours to the hospitable couple from whom I'm subletting my flat.

London, I've tried to do a few good deeds of my own in thanks. And even though you won't see this printed in Metro, I send out little angels of gratitude, winging from my heart to cast blessings on each of you. 

I am also grateful to all of you who have kept me company on this journey by following my adventures here on whatever level. Posting a lot of photos and integrating them with text is just plain difficult on an iPad, so I'm not always satisfied with the results; but that's one of those First World problems I can't complain too much about. So thank you for slogging through it all with me, my friends.

*Things I've learned from reading Metro: "Toby" in England is the sort of name that suggests a person who is an accountant, and even actors think that HBO overdoes the nudity on The Game of Thrones.

Photos taken in Regent's Park and other locations the week of May 5.

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