Roadside Kindness

On a broiling hot summer day in 1963 my wife and our two young children were traveling from Alabama to Texas where I was working at a temporary job. Along the way, on a lonely stretch of two-lane highway, the car had a flat tire. This was in the days before cell phones or AAA roadside service. My wife and our children had neither the strength nor the knowhow to change the tire, so they were truly stuck by the side of the road. Several cars drove by with no offers for help before a man traveling by stopped to help. When he got out of car his shirt was dry. When he got back in, his shirt was soaking wet from sweat, yet he refused my wife's offer of money for his trouble.

This small act of selfless kindness made a profound impression on me, and more than a half century later this act continues to compel my heart to not pass by someone in need. Maybe someone else that man helped along his way felt the same sense of obligation to help those in need; resulting in no end to the good that man did for us on a hot summer's day in 1963.


"If I Can Stop One Heart from Breaking"

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

-Emily Dickinson

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