by Andy Weddington
Sunday, 28 August 2016
If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them. Dalai Lama
A few days ago happened along samaritans.
My late 60s VW, without warning, lost power on a busy, notoriously dangerous, divided but by line only, four-lane highway in our community.
Posted speed limit is 65 MPH. Though well patrolled, it usually moves faster.
Good fortune was to be near a traffic light with a commercial business nearby.
Stalled in the right lane, I shifted to neutral, checked for traffic, and got out to steer and push onto what is barely a shoulder.
Thankfully, approaching drivers were paying attention and changing to the passing lane.
Within mere seconds appeared a young man who said, "Sir, get in and I'll push - let's get you off the highway."
Within seconds, a van passed and pulled into the parking lot about 25 yards ahead. Two clean cut young men, who looked to be Marines, got out, ran over, and without a word pushed, too.
Two more samaritans.
From time of breakdown to being safely off the highway, less than three minutes.
The first samaritan asked if there was anything else he could do.
The other two simply returned to the van.
I walked over to the van.
A woman was driving.
She rolled down the window.
I thanked her for stopping and the two young men - her sons and high schoolers.
She said they were not supposed to be in the area today but there'd been a hiccup in travel plans. Then she smiled and said, "Now I know why."
With a final 'thank you' they departed.
Having lived in the area a long time, the hazards of this particular highway well documented. A lot of folks have been killed - among them drivers with breakdowns at the hands of others not paying attention.
My good fortune was samaritans.
The first Hispanic.
The others not.
And all the alert drivers who yielded.
Random acts of kindness.
I aim to do at least one every day and have for a long time.
Once safe, one in particular came to mind.
A few years ago I, anonymously, helped out a stranger in distress with some money. The dynamics moot. It was the right thing to do. Despite my best effort at discretion, a witness quietly approached, "Sir, what you just did has restored my faith in people. I do not know what, when, or how but something good is coming your way."
Kind words. Appreciated. But the situation called for a samaritan. I forgot about it and her words.
Until a few days ago.