Tuesday, March 1, 2011
The Road You Leave Behind:
A couple years back I was driving along, and about 20 miles from home the tire on my car blew out. I had the spare tire in the trunk but not the knowledge or tools I needed to fix it. I didn't have anyone in the city whom could help me, or my phone to call anyone. It would have taken me over an hour to walk to where I worked to call my dad. That was my only option, or so I thought.
As I was locking the doors a red car pulls up behind me and a kid of about 16 gets out and asks if I needed help. I admitted what my problem was and without another word he got the tools needed out of his own car and changed my tire out. This kid told me all he was thinking was that this could have been his sister standing out here.
To this day, every so often, I am reminded of this. And will carry it with me the rest of my life.
Simple kindness does exist. It is stronger and goes sooooo much further than anger and hate. You are remembered longer. You leave a better impression behind.
Here's another one for you. Also a couple years ago.
I was driving around in my van in the busy part of the city in the busy part of the day and had pulled up at a stoplight. On the street-corner was a middle aged man in his wheel chair whom had just pushed the button to change the signal so he could cross the road. As the light changed another man whom was approaching and getting ready to cross walked up behind him and pushed the first man's wheelchair through the intersection...
...when they got to the other side. Both men went their separate ways.
Wow, I thought, that was nice! And they didn't even know each other! Until I saw them part ways I thought they had.
Isn't it horrible that simple kindness is amazing these days?
I got another one for you:
So a bit over a year ago my sister and I were driving the same van and the engine was finally getting ready to give out. And it does at a stoplight in the middle of a busy road. I managed to roll off onto a side street which thankfully was built on a long and downward sloping hill where I turned into a hospital parking-lot by the momentum of the hill alone. We were hoping to get the van into a parking spot at least before it stopped all the way.
It stopped at last about ten feet from a parking space.
Keep in mind this is a Chevy Astro van and I am not a big person. Neither is my sister whom is with me. So, I get out of the van and tell her to steer while I try and push.
I struggle. I strain, I give it everything I have and cant get it to do anything but roll forward just a few inches before it rolls back. By this point I was so frustrated and angry I could hardly breathe. Out of the corner of my eye I had seen this car drive by, slowly so the driver could stare at us [yeah, i noticed], before they drove away.
Well, three minutes later this car returns and pulls up next to my broken down van. An old lady gets out, significantly older, and she walks up to the back of my van and without a word helps me push it into that parking spot.
I quickly learned not to be so judgmental, about people staring and what they might physically be able to do or not do. I was stunned that the van had moved. I looked at her and thanked her, so much, that i just didn't have the words.
She said very nearly the same thing the sixteen year old boy had. Only her words were - I saw you as I drove by and I thought -- what if those were my girls. Then she told me that her next thought had been that -- they are someone's girls [meaning my sister and I] and she just had to come back.
Now, I never saw any of these people again. But these simple little acts of kindness have struck a cord I will remember always, and I hope you do too.
With all the trouble in the world, and yes, there is alot of trouble in the world right now; earthquakes, people protesting their governments and being shot in the streets, our own citizens protesting it all as well, the shootings in Tucson, the hostages taken and slain at sea, North Korea and South Korea...
I saw a picture online. It was part of some sort of memorial with all sorts of pictures and flowers and candles about.
It was written on a white sheet of paper in marker and it read:
Love is greater than H8
My memories above of my own vehicles breaking down reminded me of the song I posted in this video.
P.S. Whomever is Googling me in Maryland will you please step forward? I would love to know about you too. Thank you.
"A child's hand in yours -- what tenderness and power it arouses. You are instantly the very touchstone of wisdom and strength."