We have a parking garage for our car. It’s a luxury, I guess, but when I think about what trolling endlessly for parking places would cost in terms of my mental health, I figure the garage is a lot cheaper than therapy.

The other day I went to pay the garage bill and when I got there, I couldn’t find the bill, which I thought I’d jammed in my back pocket. No worries—I gave the attendant our car-park number, he found my bill, and I paid.

Fast forward a day or two and I’m flipping through the mail. An envelope addressed to me, in an unfamiliar hand, and with no return address. Hoping for checks, winning lottery tickets, or plane tickets to warm and exotic locales, I open the envelope. It’s my garage bill. It must have fallen out of my pocket and someone found it lying on the ground. Then that Someone took the time to put it in an envelope, find a stamp, and send it to me.

Now the confession: I wish I could say that I’d do the same, but probably I wouldn’t. I would mean to; I would want to. I would pick up the bill and intend to mail it to the owner, but then…it would sit in the bottom of my (new fabulous purple) bag and eventually I’d throw it away.

But on this Valentine’s Day, and in this month of NaBloPoMo, the theme of which is “ties,” I thank you, samaritan, for extending me this simple courtesy.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we would all look after one another like this? Watch for what others have lost or forgotten, take that one extra step, make that one small gesture? 

If, in short, we all felt a little bit more responsible for everyone else–felt a little bit more tied to one another–wouldn’t the world be a better place?

Happy Valentine’s Day. Do something nice for someone you don’t know.