Living nine years in a large city has sort of put a hamper on my outlook towards the general population. I used to hear people plotting how they were going to hold up a store while walking down the sidewalk in broad daylight! I have been held up by people in the city as well. All of these years in a city put a very sour taste in my mouth.
Even though other people in the city would not help in a time of distress, I always treated others as I would like to be treated. I would give rides to cruisers that were passing by, as I had a car and they needed transportation. I would also invite them over for meals and show them around the local areas.
When we set off cruising, I kept that bad taste in my mouth from living in a city. I seem to expect the worse at first, as that is what I have been conditioned to expect. Then I get to meet the people in these small towns and I get a fresh blast of refreshing hope for humanity!
While here in Reedville, VA, a small fishing village on the Great Wicomico River, we have been aided by a few locals. We were in a local restaurant and were asking for directions to the nearest grocery store. It turns out that there is no such store in this town, and the nearest market is 15 miles away. I was ready to travel the distance on my bicycle with a backpack when a waitress there offered to drive us to the store! She picked us up, took us to the store, and drove us back to the boat.
On another occasion, we were sitting in the cockpit as a storm was approaching. We were keeping an eye on shoreside landmarks to make sure that the anchor was holding well and that we weren't dragging. An older gentleman came over in his motorboat and offered that we tie up to his pier to ride out the storm. The offer was very tempting, but the water at his pier was a bit shallow for our keel to make it, so we had to decline.
People really are helpful and caring for other people. They will go out of their way to make sure that everyone is able to meet their basic needs. Be it food, or the security of a pier in a storm. They will help give you directions, or even take you the distance, because they care!