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Random act of kindness gives hope for future

SO, I'm late for a train home. Leaving the office, I grab whatever's left in the petty cash box and toddle up the Lizzy Road to Balmoral halt, just as the train is pulling in.

After taking a seat on the packed, rush-hour train, the conductor approaches, "Er, where you for, mate?"

Rooting in my pocket, I pull out the stash secured from the petty cash box, while informing him that I am heading for God's Own Country – Moira.

"Marra? That's, er, £4.60, mate." Realising that I was a good £1.50 short, I pulled out my wallet.

But before I can even ask, the conductor chirps, "Er, don't take cards, mate ... " (aye, after all Translink, we only got inside loos in Norn Iron last week).

The conductor is explaining that I – deeply embarrassed and sweating profusely – will have to get off at Lisburn to buy a ticket using my card, when this completely random chap, sitting alongside me with his teenage son, sticks his hand in his pocket and hands the conductor the shortfall without saying a word.

Turning to me, he says, "Well, you look like the sort of fella who'd do the same for me".

Random acts of kindness are a rarity and genuine role-models are scarce, but there's certainly hope for his young lad.

MAGOO

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