But for whatever reason my intuition overode my 'thinking' brain and social programming and before I knew it I had pulled a U-turn and I picked him up.
It was getting late and dark and I thought he would never get a ride at this hour. It 'felt' like the right thing to do. I was giving my brain counter arguments as it spat out things like 'female alone in car, dark country road, no one around strange man, danger' I thought of the 60's and 70's people hitching rides across the country...when we were less afraid of each other. When people used to have conversations at the bus stop. I may have been logically challenged to justify my actions but I was not afraid. I helped him put his bags in the car and took him to his destination -about 20 min outside of my way.
We had a great, enlightening conversation. He was on his way home from church and underestimated the fee for a taxi and the taxi had left him right where I had picked him up.
I felt happy to help someone in need. He was happy and grateful to have a ride and this story fortunately has a happy ending.
What is interesting to me is when I tell people I picked up a hitch hiker are the varied responses I get. From total surprise, or fear and anger as to 'how could I do something so stupid', to 'I pick up hitch hikers all the time, no big deal' response.
It is funny and interesting to me how fear is on a sliding scale..individual with each person. And how much our fears prevent us from doing something outside our comfort zone. And how many of our fears are not even our own. We adopted most of them from our parents, families, cultures, environment, and society. Scientists have even discovered that we are biologically wired for fear. It exists in part of the brain and we are born with our capacity for fear in our wiring (our 'computer system' ) Some people are born with more fear than others. What is interesting is that the more you work to overcome your fears, that 'fearful' part of the brain actually shrinks in size.
Now I am not advocating that everyone should start picking up hitch hikers. But I would like everyone to try to step outside of their box of 'comfortability' and endeavour to do something different this week, something that challenges one of your fears. Because once you overcome a fear, no matter how small or large, you have conquered it, and it is a truly liberating experience.