One Act of Kindness

One Act of Kindness

One act of kindness that befell British writer Bernard Hare in 1982 changed him profoundly. Then a student living just north of London, he tells the story to inspire troubled young people to help deal with their disrupted lives. The police called at my student hovel early evening, but I didn’t answer as I thought they’d come to evict me. I hadn’t paid my rent in months. But then I got to thinking: my mum hadn’t been too good and what if it was something about her? We had no phone in the hovel and mobiles hadn’t been invented yet, so I had to nip down the phone box. I rang home to Leeds to find my mother was in hospital and not expected to survive the night. “Get home, son,” my dad said. I got to the railway station to find I’d missed the last train. A train was going as far as Peterborough, but I would miss the connecting Leeds train by twenty minutes. I bought a ticket home and got on anyway. I was a struggling student and didn’t have the money for a taxi the whole way, but I had a screwdriver in my pocket and my bunch of skeleton keys. I was so desperate to get home that I planned to nick a car in

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