I’ve only been to Mexico once. When I was 18 years old, some friends and I went for a 1 week trip after our high school graduation. On the 4th night, we’d been drinking at a bar. I wasn’t feeling well so I decided to walk back to our hotel alone.
After 4 days of not eating any good meals or drinking enough water, I was very dehydrated. I thought the bar was close enough to the hotel that I could make that walk alone without any problems. Unfortunately, the bar was much farther away from the hotel than I thought.
On my way back, I couldn’t continue. I needed water. I was dizzy, dehydrated, and in a humid climate that I wasn’t accustomed to. I was feeling weak and things were starting to go black. I knew I was going to pass out. So I sat down right there on the curb. There I was, in a foreign country, in the middle of the night, dehydrated, and about to pass out on the sidewalk.
I knew if I could just get some water in my system, it would buy me enough time to make it back to the hotel where I could recuperate. I finally gathered enough strength to go into the nearest market to buy water. I grabbed a bottle and made my way to the counter. I reached for my wallet but it wasn’t there. I had lost it and now I didn’t know what to do.
Out of nowhere, the man in line behind me saw that I couldn’t pay. I don’t know what he thought. Maybe he thought I was just a stupid, drunk American kid. But he helped me. He put his items on the counter next to my water and paid for everything.
Through his broken English and my even worse Spanish, I offered to mail him money. It was only $2 but since he went out of his way to help a stranger, I wanted to repay him at least $50 when I got back home. He said no. He simply refused to let me pay him back and went on his way.
In those real life moments, people aren’t thinking about abstract government politics, policy, or agenda’s. He was just a human helping another human in need. That was 15 years ago and I still think about it sometimes. I am still grateful for the fact that he helped me that night. There are good people everywhere. Those are the ones we need to find and surround ourselves with.