So I had an awkward encounter recently. I was just headed out to a lunch meeting I was already running late for, walking down the sidewalk, texting an excuse for my tardiness. As I hopped in the car, some dude started knocking on my window. As not to be rude, I rolled it down and readied for this conversation. Normally, in a situation like this, there's a quick story that ends in a request for money. No big deal, it shockingly happens a lot in Downtown Lawton. But this guy didn't want money, he asked me for a ride.

I'll admit, I was already pulling a few dollars out of my pocket when he asked, and it completely caught me off guard. Almost instantly, and it seems normal, I started going through the mental filing cabinet of hitchhiking horror stories. I didn't know how to respond, so I just tossed out a polite "I don't think so." But he responded again... "It's just around the corner." I thought this dude isn't seriously pushing me to invite a total stranger into my mechanical fortress of traffic solitude, right? A little more firmly, I gave him a polite brush-off, but only because giving a ride to a total stranger sounds like a bad idea this day in age.

It bothered me throughout my meal. Not so much that someone would ask, but also how I wasn't willing to help. So after polling the table, we were pretty split, so I'll ask you... Keep in mind, this isn't a measuring contest for how tough or prepared for trouble you are... Just simply, would you offer a ride to a total stranger?

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