As the holiday season begins, I hope this story is a reminder that we all can have impact on the lives of others, just by paying attention–we can all play the role of an Angel.
At my age and as a mother, it is taken for granted that if I plan a road trip alone, I know how to prepare. Making sure I have triple A for an emergency, a spare tire, money, and a flashlight, right?
Well, life can get busy! I was recently reminded how critical preparation is, but more importantly, I was shown the impact of helping one another. This past month I drove to a conference that was 4 hours away. I did not give it much thought as the week was hectic. Fortunately, the trip on the way there, my hotel, and the conference I attended, were wonderful. It was the ride home that was a bit of a surprise.
It was about 20 minutes into my journey, and I was happy to have found a clear line of sight to my next exit. However, when approaching it, I somehow thought the North & South exits would be reversed, and found myself in the wrong lane when it was time to get on the ramp.
This was one of those moments where you have to make a decision in a second. Being a natural risk taker, I decided I was going to make it!
Quickly viewing the right lane, I saw the immediate path to my exit was clear, so I pulled the steering wheel sharply and moved laterally to get in the exit lane before it was split by the ramp sign and widening patch of grass. Almost there…. and boom! I did not see the huge crack and hollowed out concrete surrounded by a metal barrier at the point of the split, but I certainly felt it.
I held my breath as I made my way onto the six lane highway. I turned the radio down and tuned in to the sound of my wheels over the pavement. Thud, thud, thud. That, in addition to the smell of burnt rubber, confirmed it; I had a flat tire. Assessing my situation, I see there is no place for me to pull over. I sighed and said aloud, ‘I am going to need some help’. It was a prayer of desperation for sure. I noticed an unmarked ramp and took it, it led to a 2 lane highway which provided a small shoulder for me to pull over and assess the damage. My back tire was ruined. But, before I had a chance to berate myself for being careless, I was interrupted.
A young man had pulled over to see what I needed. He could not have been more than 20 years old. He said he could smell the burnt rubber and knew something was wrong. He saw the flat, and as I babbled on about how I didn’t renew my AAA but maybe he had it, and if he called them to send a tow truck, I could just pay them…. he walked past me to assess the damage. He did not seem to hear me, but went right to work looking for my spare tire. He smiled, and said, ‘A flat tire is easy to fix’. My protests that this was ‘too much, too generous, it’s cold and getting dark’, fell on deaf ears. We had a hard time getting the spare from under the vehicle, but he persisted and insisted he was helping, so I pulled out the manual and together, we fixed my flat tire.
As we finish putting the tools away, I quickly grabbed the only cash I had. I extend the $40 and thank him for being so kind. He actually tried to push it back to me. I insisted and he shook my hand, ‘thank you, my name is Howard”. As he drove away, I thought… Howard, the Angel.
Often times the world can feel so cold, move too fast, people seem too selfish. We don’t always appreciate each other and all that we have around us.
When you are truly in need, you can be deeply moved by the generosity of another. I was reminded that help is there, people are still willing to go out of their way for someone in need. I am sure Howard did not see himself as an Angel, but the impact he had was so powerful because I really do not know what I would have done without the help; it is scary being on the side of the highway at dusk. He saved me time and money too.
As the holiday season begins, I hope this story is a reminder that we all can have impact on the lives of others, just by paying attention. Notice if someone needs the door held, smile at a mom in line with a screaming kid, have compassion for a co-worker. Something simple like giving your coupon away at the end of your shopping day to someone who is just walking into the store. Random acts of kindness that fill the world with more joy, hope and love.
While I may not be able to pay if forward in the form of a fixed flat tire, I will be on the lookout for ways to be of service and remind others that the world is indeed still full of Angels.
Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life — Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.TM Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.
What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?
I have accepted that I am never going to be satisfied with status quo, it is not my nature. I am still working on accepting that others won’t always share my view!
What have you learn to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate?
I appreciate my journey thus far, all that I have done/encountered has led me here. I am working on appreciating the change in season at Winter. I have found Spring, Summer, Fall to be easier to appreciate!
What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What makes YOU most proud? What goals and dreams do you still have?
A rewarding achievement is my relationship with my sisters. I am proud the 4 of us continue to be there and support each other no matter how different we are.
I still have a goal of meditating everyday… it is a hard discipline for me.
We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth–we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are–your Identity?
I am not interested in cooking and find the prep of food to be monotonous day-to-day. It is tricky with a family and trying to ensure everyone eats well!
“I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!)
Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?
I love my persistence in designing a life I love.