Feeling good about yourself does not always come naturally for many people. Just to piggy back on another post on our blog about volunteering, I want to add a short story about what recently happened to me.
If you watch any television, you always hear about all the horrible stories on the news about abductions, rapes and whatnot…after all bad news sells more stories, right?
Well just the other day I was with my children and on the side of the road was an older couple (70+) and they were obviously having car trouble. I saw them and thought what if that was me, or my mother?? So with all the hundreds of cars passing them by and honking their horn at these poor people for being in the way of their daily rush to where they go, I stopped. Immediately my kids asked me if I knew those people, I told them no. Then they wanted to know why I would stop for a stranger and reminded me did I not hear myself tell them a million times not to talk to strangers”? Of course I did, but I knew these older people were having trouble and seemed to be without a cell phone. The woman was so hot, her face was beet red and she was obviously not well. The man seemed desperate. They did not seem at all threatening to me, and although I am the first to be cautious I had to stop.
When I did they thanked me a million times, no one had stopped for them and they had been stuck in 90 degree plus heat for more then 1 hour! I loaned the man my cell and he called his son to tell him where they were and what happened to them. I offered them a ride back to where ever they wanted to go and they said they would stay with their car. I stayed with them too, wanting to make sure they were okay.
How could we all be so scared or self involved not to stop and help someone in need? Our society has changed and I have to say not for the better. Doing something nice and unexpected for someone in need is what we all need to do to help one another. As many “scary” people that are out there, there are ten times that number in good people. Although I have to admit that fine line exists in talking with your kids about strangers, it is quite difficult to explain to them when its ok and when its not. But being a generous adult, and a good citizen, stopping for someone in trouble who does not appear threatening is a no brainer for me. There was a movie out a few years ago called, “Pay It Forward”. It’s all about giving back and the domino effect it produces. I think the world would be a better place if we all tried to make a difference in the lives of others, and when we do, we pay it forward.