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Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Kindness of Strangers

Today I was pleasantly surprised by the kindness of many strangers. The kids and I had volunteered at the Texas Trash Off which I will blog about later and post. I promised the kids a cupcake reward for being such great first time volunteers, so we were in the car on the way to Cupcake Junkie.

We rounded the bend on 29th Street after passing the Hilton hotel and happened to see an older man on a hoveround type chair in the oncoming car lane. There was another bend which would keep oncoming cars from seeing him and I was about to say this out loud when we saw him bump into the curb on accident and fall over onto the ground. There is no sidewalk on either side of this road for him to have been on instead of the road, so his fall left him off his chair on the grass and his chair sticking out into the road.

I sucked in my breath and said to my husband, “We have to help him.” I immediately pulled into the turn lane, stopped, and turned on my hazards. My husband jumped out to cross the street to help him. We couldn’t tell if he was hurt, or not but there was no way I was driving by and not stopping to help.

Luckily the first oncoming car saw the problem as well and stopped with their hazards on, blocking the road so my husband could cross over to him. Several other people also came from different directions, seeing the problem and wanting to help. It was heartwarming to see how much help this man received in his distress. He was safely across the road and back on his way on the correct side of the street when we left.

To the drivers that appeared annoyed that we were blocking traffic, it was necessary and I hope that your annoyance faded once you saw why everyone had the road blocked temporarily. This entire incident took less than 5-10 minutes total. Your zipping around the stopped car certainly made the situation a bit trickier than if you had simply waited a few minutes. Luckily no one was hurt at all in the process.

My husband said he kept apologizing and seemed embarrassed. My husband said he just kept telling him it was ok and that there was no need to be embarrassed. He was lucky as he could have easily been hit by a car since he was riding right into oncoming traffic. Or once he fell, a car could have hit his chair and injured him as well as his chair. I feel that we and several other people happened to be in the right place at the right time. It is really strange how things work out that way.

This occurrence today gives me hope that people still care about people. We didn't know this man and neither did anyone who stopped to help him but many strangers came to his aid. You never know when it is going to be you who will need assistance one day. This goes to show that random acts of kindness really do make a difference every single day to people we may never know.

Every one of us can make a difference. Please remember to pay it forward every single day whenever you can!

Kathie Hitt