Inspire Kindness & Pay It Forward.
After a great weekend with family and friends in Vegas, we get stuck in traffic for 8-hours on the I-15 on the way home. Unfortunately, sitting still in 90+ degree weather at night overheated my SUV 3-hours and 92 miles into our drive (yes, 30 mph or slower for 3-hours straight). All bad. As the Best and I were using the freeway call box (somewhere in the middle of the dessert and about 60 miles from Barstow), we had ignorant people yell, honk their horns, holler, whistle and scream out of their windows at us as they passed us by. As we hang up the call box phone, one car pulls up and starts talking to my brother. At this point, I already knew what he was going to say – all the coolant is gone and oil is sitting low. We took all the bottles of water we had and dumped them into the radiator. The Good Samaritan offered us a few water bottles of his own but nothing much else we could do, so we thanked him and told him to continue on as we wait for AAA to come with a tow truck.
Just about 45-minutes later, the tow truck pulls up and we’re going over details of where to tow my SUV…but notice a car pulling up behind my car. To our surprise, it was the Good Samaritan that stopped nearly an hour prior! Jokingly, he says…“Hey you guys are still here!” and as he’s lugging a big plastic bag he continues to say “I felt bad for you guys so I went to the gas station and got you some oil and liters of water. They didn’t have coolant but I think this should get you to the next city.” This person drove at least 20-minutes out to the gas station in traffic, bought us supplies, drove back in another 20 to 30-minutes of traffic, cut through the dirt path between the 15-NB and 15-SB freeways…to help absolute strangers. We sent the tow truck away as my SUV started up and was stable for the rest of the 5-hour traffic ride home.
In amazement and absolute gratitude, I was speechless and nearly in tears. A stranger that didn’t know me, nor anyone in my car, extended their help in a way that many people won’t. Because of him, I saved on a very expensive tow, got everyone home safely and restored my faith in humanity. Amongst the handful of inconsiderate people yelling out their window to ‘scare us’, there was one person that changed the perception. There have been times I’ve been there for family, friends and colleagues and I’ve been burned by my own kindness to them but those burns won’t stop me from being grounded and continue to extend kindness to others when there’s always that chance…that ONE PERSON that can change the outcome for you. Ironically, he was wearing a Superman shirt.
Spread the kindness to those you know and those that are strangers. It won’t cost you much but a smile and a helping hand!