Eric’s Dad Learns First-Hand No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

From the Festival of Giving and Receiving

My family and I were in Chicago visiting my sister. It was a pretty joyous time and the four of us were feeling light on our feet as we walked down Michigan Avenue. Now, my parents are great people and they are generous in many ways, but they are both pretty sheepish out in public, among regular people. If I had to name their experience, I’d guess they are fearful. Anyway, on this day, Dad was feeling bold. We came upon a person in a wheel chair who was attempting to roll themselves up onto the curb and was having some trouble. Roll …. up, down. Roll. … up, down. Wasn’t working. We stood there watching for a moment, and then I saw my Dad start to walk over behind the chair. He grabbed the handlebars on the back and with this very generous look on his face – like “Look at how good I am” – he began to push. Well, the person in the chair freaked out. They began thrashing around, trying to hit my Dad, yelling at him to let go, let go, let go. My Dad didn’t let go. He hung on until the person was safely on the curb, still carrying on at my Dad. The look on my Dad’s face by then was quite different. Sometimes, generosity is confusing.

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