Sadly but true, some people are nicer than others
But you have to take the trouble to find them
I’ve written before in Times Select about how my eldest son has become my teacher, and on Good Friday he did it again.
Sam, 21, arrived home in an agitated state and told me he’d had an unsettling “Vicki Momberg” experience as he was leaving a friend’s house.
“She used the n-word, and I told her: ‘No, I will not hear that word. Do not use it in my presence’,” he explained.
Unhappy and aggressively defensive, the friend stood in the middle of her street bellowing the n-word at Sam as he drove away.
“What’s wrong with her?” I asked.
“She’s bipolar,” Sam replied, shrugging, and he headed off for his daily swim in Cape Town’s Silvermine dam.A couple of hours later he returned, recharged by the bracing water and healed by a random encounter with a stranger.
Driving home, he had seen a hitchhiker. “He was black,” said Sam, “and I thought to myself: ‘I’ve got nothing better to do right now, I’m going to help this person’.”
So he stopped and offered the man a lift. It turned out he was a graphic artist at an advertising agency, down from Johannesburg to run in the Two Oceans Marathon.
He had arrived by taxi at his southern suburbs accommodation to find out it was no longer available. Out of luck, airtime and data, he started hitchhiking, and when Sam picked him up he’d been at it for 20 minutes.
“This is so rare, for a white driver to pick up a black hitchhiker,” he told Sam. “I’ve lost count of the number of cars that have gone past me.”
“You know what, Dad,” Sam said. “About 95% of blacks turn out to be nicer human beings than about 95% of whites if you take the trouble to find out.”