Thank You To A Rice University Employee’s Random Act of Kindness
Tuesday was a tough day for my youngest daughter. It was her second day of classes at Rice University in Houston, and several incidents were snowballing on her that morning. I'm not going to go into them all, but I decided she needed my on-site help and support, so I made the 2-hour drive to see her.
Positivity and Prayer
I wasn't happy with the situation but I've learned through the years, that whenever life deals you a nasty curve ball, you shouldn't let the frustration of the situation get the best of you. Instead, wisdom has taught me to turn to positivity and prayer.
Two things always happen to me when I do this. First, I am able to think with a clearer head and come up with a well-thought-out solution. Second, God always takes me down a spiritual path that leads me to someone or something that I need in my life. That someone was Vicente.
Finding a Bike
One of the issues my daughter was having that morning was her brand-new bicycle U-lock would not unlock. When I arrived on campus, I was able to get the key from her while she went to another class. I walked to the building where she said she parked her bike, and I tried to remember what her bike looked like.
I stopped and stared for a while at one bike that looked familiar. Nearby, was a man in a Rice golf cart. I would have gone to the bike and sprayed some WD-40 on the lock, but I didn't want him to think I was some weird old man looking to steal a bike.
The man, wearing a Rice maintenance shirt, approached me and started up a conversation. He told me earlier in the morning he noticed a student having issues trying to open the lock. I said that was my daughter and I thanked him for confirming which bike it was.
Unlocking the Lock
He could have left it at that, but he got out of his cart and came over to help me. We tried for several minutes to get the key to open to lock, but nothing worked. During this time, Vicente and I talked about our families. He said he understood my leaving work at a moment's notice to help my daughter. He has four daughters of his own, and he would have done the same. Vicente also said confidently, "We will open this lock."
Finally, he came up with a plan to get us on opposite sides of the rack so that we could both pull with full force while the key was being turned. It worked! I thanked him over and over for his help. As he drove away he gave me some advice. He told me to call my wife right now so that she wouldn't worry anymore.
Starting the Conversation
Helping me unlock that bike might seem like a rather small gesture. But, Vicente took that first step of starting a conversation to see if he could help. I know quite a few folks who would do the same, but I've also observed many who would not.
So, I just wanted to do a shout-out to Vicente and let Rice University know that they have a good man in him. And, of course, a shout-out to God, for once again teaching me that good things happen when you put your faith in Him. That good thing was Vicente.
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