A note on sharing .. a brighter note ...greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
With all the turmoil and anxiety lately, I thought it would be appropriate to offer a brighter note on sharing...
When one shares about Y2k, you never know where it will lead...
This will take a few moments for you to read .. but hopefully will brighten your day. What happened certainly brightened mine.
A few weeks ago, I was in a hardware store looking for water filters (not Y2k related, just a necessary item for the water system). While there, I asked the salesman if he knew of anyone who might be looking for some computer help (I'm trying to earn a few extra $$ to cover the additional Y2k supplies). He didn't .. but a voice from around the corner said "I do". A man appeared, dressed in heavy coveralls. I assumed him to be a mechanic. He said he ran a trucking business.
He invited me to lunch where he treated me to a meal at a local restaurant .. and then asked me to follow him to his office. I did. A short time later I found myself in a very nondescript building (no signs, etc.) peering into the crowded innards of a larger-than-normal network server. He'd been told by a local computer repair shop that his whole computer had failed and he'd need to replace it. Even though I didn't have any of my diagnostic tools or software with me, experience told me that the hard disk had died. I gave him my diagnosis. He said he was 100% backed up and it would be an incredible relief if I was correct as some of the system was unique and would be difficult to replace. (They were doing all computer work on one stand-alone computer.) The man paid me for my time and I left.
A few days later, while visiting a different computer repair shop in a different town, I happened to see a new hard disk of the exact capacity that had failed in this man's system. I bought it with the understanding that I could return it for full refund if it didn't correct the problem.
I contacted the man at his office and arranged to give it a try. It worked. We transferred everything onto the new hard drive and even got some other quirks corrected in the process. He was elated and invited me to join his family for dinner. I accepted.
While there, I very gently and gradually introduced this man, his wife, and his family (several kids) to the Y2k issues. They listened attentively. He asked me what I had done to prepare and wanted to see some of my solar equipment. I was happy to share with him. They visited me soon after.
A week ago, the man and his family were present at a Y2k meeting that was held in town. I was one of the presenters. During a break, he thanked me for calling Y2k to his attention. He told me that until I'd discussed it with him in terms he could understand, even some of his best friends couldn't get through to him .. and he thought it was all a bunch of hype. He said he was deeply grateful to me for "opening his eyes", and he let me know he and his family were diligently preparing. I didn't give our conversation at the meeting much thought ... until last night.
After coming home from yet another Y2k gathering, I found an envelope taped to the front door of my home .. and by peering through the darkness (I live waaay out in the woods) I was barely able to distingush an *enormous* load of aged wood off to one side in the yard. It was firewood. Hardwood firewood. Oak, hickory, maple, and ash. 12+ *real* cords worth .. an entire *large* logging-truck load. This for me is a six-year supply. I assumed someone had made a mistake and delivered here in error. It happened once before several years ago.
Oh! The envelope on my front door? It contained a note and an invoice. It was from the man with whom I had so freely shared the Y2k message. In the note, he said it was his way of more properly saying "thank you". Attached to the note was an invoice for the entire truckload of wood. Nearly $1,000 worth including delivery. It was marked "paid in full .. from a grateful new friend". Turns out this gentleman runs one of the largest trucking and logging operations in the state. I had no clue at the time. I was simply sharing.
The favor he did for me is beyond words. I'm recovering from a serious injury and surgery to repair the damage. I'm only working part time and my finances are strained almost to the breaking point. For months I've been worried about how I was going to heat my home in future winters. Wood heat is all I have and I had only enough to last the rest of this season. Finances being what they are, unless something changed significantly, it would have been a choice between food and heat. That worry has been alleviated thanks to the incredible generousity of a former stranger.
I'm sure there's an appropriate moral to this story .. but the words escape me at the moment.
Best regards to all from the snowy upper midwest USA.
-- Dan (DanTCC@Yahoo.com), January 17, 1999
It is a lesson I have recieved many times. "when you do something good, from your heart, good things tend to materialize out of thin air". Just the fact that you have probaly made a good friend for life, but that 12+ hardwood cords will definately be a blessing. It is great to hear that for all the hell us doomsdayers get, this story makes up for all the **it I've recieved. thank you for sharing that.
Best wishes & good Luck - Matt
-- Matt (email@example.com), January 17, 1999.
You mention in your post the favor he did for you. To be sure, you did one for him, and it's to his credit that he acknowledged your effort. Most of us these days are cynical and hardened to the harsh realities of everyday life. It's nice to log on and read of a situation where two deserving people helped each other. Good for you, and good for him.
-- Vic (Roadrunneris@compliant.net), January 17, 1999.
It's a circle of giving Dan.
Thanks for sharing that wonderful story. (You deserve the added warmth too). Yes, magic happens. Sprinkled with that marvelous touch of the unexpected. Don't you just love it!
-- Diane J. Squire (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 17, 1999.
It's so easy to get taken in by fear and paranoia, but maybe the best Y2K strategy is simply to help everyone we can, both before and after. "Cast your bread upon the waters, it comes back tenfold," something like that.
-- Shimrod (email@example.com), January 18, 1999.