Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Generosity of Strangers

I have two incidents in the past few weeks of the good-natured generosity of strangers that I wanted to share today.

The first came about from my involvement on a comic book message board. One of the regulars, Jeff, made an offer to the group. He had various lots of comics he was planning to get rid of - to help thin out his growing collection. He announced the lots on the board, the contents of each, and offered them to any of the folks on the board that were interested (one lot per person). He even offered to ship them to wherever folks lived, free of charge. I happened to see one set that interested me - the first twenty issues of Solo Avengers, published by Marvel Comics from 1986 to 1988. I had these issues, or most of them, at one time but had gotten rid of them when I was slimming my collection down over a decade ago. They were issues I wouldn't have minded owning again. So, I asked for them and Jeff sent them out. They arrived at my house on Friday in the mail. Now, the books were cover priced of seventy five cents each, so retailing at about $15. It was another $7 or so for postage to send the box to me. Basically, Jeff took $22 out of his "pocket" so someone else could get enjoyment out of books he no longer wanted to keep. That was very very generous of him!

The second came just this Saturday at my local comic book shop, Time Tunnel Comics (http://www.timetunnelcomics.com/). I took my son there for the weekly Yu-Gi-Oh tournament. After he lost in the first round, he wanted to hang out for a bit. One of patrons, a guy in his late twenties or so, was near the counter having just purchased a large box of Magic the Gathering cards. It was one of those Tenth Edition boxes with 36 packs in them (retailed around $90). The guy was opening packs and my son was talking to him at the time. My son was explaining to him that he just had learned how to play Magic earlier in the week from one of his camp counselors at the YMCA. Anyway, a few minutes later my son comes over to me with the box in tow. The guy had opened up all the packs, took away from the 540 cards therein the ones he needed for his own decks and ones he could resell (ie. the most rare of the lot) and offered up the rest of the commons to my son for free. Now, I was scheptical, so I went back to the guy and asked if he was sure. He said, yes, it was fine. I said, can I at least offer you something for them? He said I didn't have to. Still, I felt I should give him something - and I wanted to set a good example for my son. I had about five dollars in my wallet, so I offered him that. He gratefully said thanks and took the offering. I made sure my son said thanks again as well. After we got home, I counted the lot. The man had given my son 507 of the 540 cards. Again, a very very generous thing for someone to do for a relative stranger!

Both these acts reminded me that the world, despite all the horrific events the news has to offer up, is still full of good, unselfish people. Both Jeff and the guy at the comic shop had items that were of no use to them. Rather than throw them away or try to sell them off on ebay or wherever (taking extra time to do so for possible little return), they shared what they had with others who might share a common interest. They gave freely from their hearts, asking for nothing in return.

Good will - it does a body good.

You can be sure my son and I will be passing the positive karma along at the next available opportunity.


Jim McClain said...

Which message board do you hang out at, Martin?

Martin said...

Jim, the Marvel Masterworks Board (though they talk about a lot more than that).