Last Thursday night I finished work around 6pm and as it was a guy in my teams birthday/leaving day, I joined the rest of the group for a drink at a bar in Glasgow City Centre. Being the manager of the team, I had to do the responsible thing and leave early-ish before the rest moved onto a local club, as I had to be in the office the next morning.
I quickly grabbed a Burger King on the way to the train station, and as I passed through Central station crowd towards my train, I noticed a young girl, probably about 18, out the corner of my eye. I looked around her at the crowds of men and woman passing her by, looking directly at her and continuing to walk. I was in disbelief..
The young girl, of similar ages to my younger sister, was on her knees, on the ground scraping through her huge handbag, tears welling in her eyes, directly under a self service ticket machine. I doesn’t take a genius to work out where this is going …
£3.10 .. thats what it cost me ..
My drinks had been £1.50 per drink (student night), my burger king around £6.00. It cost me £3.10 to make sure this young girl got home on the last train that was destined for her home town that evening. But how many people passed her, looked at her , some directly in the eye, and when faced with that quick, on the spot decision, do i help?, opted to keep walking and take the easy option… Everyone. Everyone except me.. I know eventually someone else would have stopped, but how long had she already have been sitting there?
This is all happening just under the huge, bright central station christmas tree. Everyone is rushing around with freshly purchased gifts, Costa coffee is selling Christmas special coffees. Surely theres more to the christmas spirit than that?.
Of course I wil soon be one of those people rushing around with a “sticky toffee pudding coffee” in hand, with a number of bags in each hand ( starting late agin this year). But for me, the look on that girls face when I approached her and pulled out my Debit card and offered to help get her home- that, is the kind of giving I want to be able to do this christmas.
Had I stayed at the bar for another hour I would have had another two drinks, without question, £3. I would never have crossed the girls path and maybe, possibly, she would have missed that last train. Surely faced with that question we could all make the right choice ? … Another hour in a bar, for two more drinks, or leave go home and for the same price help a young girl who is alone and trapped get home as well.
That question is obviously in the context of my evening, but surely there are others who if they thought in this way, had just as easy a decision to make, and opted out.
The girl wiped her tears, smiled at me gave me a hug and thanked me. Then she rushed off and caught her train. I don’t know her name, don’t know what age she is, what her background is, I don’t even know where she had been that evening. I won’t see her again… but she taught me a huge lesson that night, in how I approach these types of situations. I hope if you are reading this you will weigh up your options in this way the next time you get the chance. I swear, its a wonderful feeling to help someone out, however small the gesture is.
Its christmas people, lets remember what that really means…