At your service ... sometimes
I WAS trying to get my bag into the overhead （頭上の） locker of the plane recently when a man lunged forward and put it up for me.
"Thank you so much," I said. "Please don't thank me. I live for moments like these!" he boomed （声高にいう）enthusiastically. I wanted to ask him what he meant, but he scuttled off （急いで逃げ去る）down the plane and I didn't get a chance to talk to him again. I presumed he meant he lived for moments when he could be of service（役立って、貢献して） since he didn't return to chat me up.
The incident came to mind last week after encounters with two strangers. One was a council man who had come to mow the lawns in my street. Like the man on the plane, this fellow （= a man） couldn't do enough to be of service, helping neighbours with all sorts of things, trimming bushes, carrying rubbish out for us, warmly offering advice. He saved me a great deal of time and effort given（～を考慮すれば=considering) I've only recently moved into the neighbourhood. "It's a pleasure to help," he smiled.
The second stranger did the opposite. I wanted to do my good deed（よい行い）for the week - for the people whose home I'd moved into. Their mail redirection had run out and I offered to handle it for them, and even to pay a year's redirection, given they were overseas. Grateful for the offer, they emailed me written instructions, entrusting （～に任せる、委ねる）me with the process.
"No," said the post office man when I turned up with a bagload of mail, the redirection form, and email. "You need written permission from them," he said stiffly.
"But here is the letter, with their email address, details, licence number and specific instructions." "No!" he said defiantly.
"But why?" I pleaded.
"Australia Post has the right to decline all requests at its discretion（＝の思うままに、勝手に）," he said, reading from the small print. "But you're not 'Australia Post', you're you, the local post office man. You know these people. They lived right there - across the road, for 20 years. I've just moved into their house. I have proof."
Like the comical travel agent woman from TV show Little Britain who thwarts（挫折させる、くじく） all requests ("Computer says, 'Naaaaah'"), he just shrugged, forcing me to post the bundle（束） myself each week - a waste of time and money.
The late Larry Adler, founder of FAI Insurance, once told me that real power was in the little things, and personal power could never be underestimated. "If a bus driver doesn't stop for you in the rain when your car has broken down, you could catch pneumonia and die." Likewise we too have the power to let - or not let - another driver out of a side street, thus potentially changing their destiny. We don't know the result of our actions. But it feels good to be of service and it's win-win （上手くいくことが確信できる）given the laws of karma（因果応報）. What goes around comes around. True? "Computer says, 'Naaaaah!' "
( from The Australian online 493 words)
一番身近な人にこそ、give and give だ！