I landed at a packed airport. Claiming my luggage was more tedious than usual and I dreaded the shuttle ride to the car rental lot. As soon as the little bus arrived, I took a seat behind the driver as a small army crammed in after me. I quickly noticed that some women were left standing in the center, holding a strap in one hand and steadying their luggage with the other. I thought, What a shame. So I stood up to offer my seat to the closest lady.
I met her eyes and said, “Would you li–”
“What’s wrong?” she snapped.
“Nothing. Would you like–”
“No, I can stand!”
I need to mention that the year was 1974, not long after Bobby Riggs lost “the battle of the sexes” tennis match to Billie Jean King.
I glanced toward another woman for a moment, but when she gave me the evil eye, I decided to sit down and shut up. That’s the day I learned that with some people, you can never win. Even the kindest deed done with the purest motivation can blow up in your face. Don’t take it personally; most of the world is braced for impact and just doesn’t know what to do with a simple act of kindness.