“Pay it Forward” ~ People Really Are Inherently Good

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To be doing good deeds is man’s most glorious task ~ Sophocles 

On a typical morning, I like to be on the hiking trail by 7:30am with Maggie and Cody.  I have always been a morning person, but with the rising summer heat, getting there early is completely necessary. Otherwise, it is just too hot for them (and me) to be outside for long.

On this particular day, I was not able to get out of the house as early as I would have liked to. By the time lunchtime rolled around, I started feeling bad that the dogs hadn’t even been out for a walk yet. I decided to get them in the car and go for a quick hike before the temps rose any higher.

Just like every other day after our usual three-mile hike, Maggie and Cody hopped into the car and they were tired from our walk and panting.  I thought to myself “I should stop at a gas station to get them some water.”

I know that there is never a good time to get a flat tire. But hot, exhausted with two tired hot dogs seemed like really bad timing.  As I was driving down the road towards the gas station, I received an alert on my car. “Oh no!” I thought. Then it hit me, and I knew right away that my tire was completely flat. I pulled off onto the side of the busy road and stepped out of the car to confirm.  Sure enough it was as flat as can be. Frustrated, I hopped back into the car and began typing into a Google search, ‘Roadside Assistance.’ Before I could even see my search results, a young man approached me at my driver’s side window.  I was startled at first, but then realized he was probably just trying to help. I rolled down my window and he said, “I can replace the tire for you real quick and put on your spare if you need me to.”  I could not have felt more relieved by this random act of kindness.

It is so nice to know that there truly are really good people out there in the world.  I left the AC on high for the dogs, and I hopped out to help my new friend locate all of the equipment necessary to change the flat tire.  We were on a pretty busy road and the sun was scorching hot.  As he was changing the tire, I couldn’t help but to feel super appreciative of this man’s kind and thoughtful gesture to help me. As I was thanking him over and over again, he explained to me that his mom taught him these gentlemanly manners early on. She instilled in him that if he ever sees someone with a flat tire, that he should pull over and help them.

After he wrapped up and I said goodbye (and thank you continuously), I got to thinking: How do you reciprocate such a nice deed? How amazing is it that not only has this man pulled over to help change a complete stranger’s tire in 100 degree weather, but also that he recognized his mom for raising him to be a good person?  I truly felt so appreciative for the immediate and kind-hearted help that I received. I feel so thankful that he decided to do the right thing. This could have been so much worse for me, and I am so thankful that he made it so painless and easy for me to get on with my day.

Here are a few lessons that I learned as a result of my flat tire experience:

Always Have Water! You should always have water in the car.  Honestly, I should have known better and have come fully prepared with water for the dogs (and myself) after our hike-especially in the summer.

Help Someone Every Chance You Get. If you ever have an opportunity to help someone, you should do it. It might take a couple minutes out of your day or be a little bit of an inconvenience, but you never know how much you could make someone’s day by deciding to lend a helping hand.

Chivalry is not dead. It was so refreshing to come across a random passerby that was such a gentleman. I know a lot of my guy friends would do something like this, but what are the chances that a random would be so kind? It is nice to hear that it was the influence of this guy’s mom that ultimately motivated him to help out. All moms should raise their boys to be helpful and considerate of others, women in particular.

Learn How To Change A Tire. I know, I know. As much as I drive and as much travel as I do, I really should know how to change a tire by now. Really, we should all probably learn how to change a tire. If this guy had not decided to stop and help me out of the kindness of his heart, I could have been sitting on the side of the road for a long time. I am incredibly thankful that I did not have to sit out in the sun for an hour or two waiting for someone to come out and help us. The dogs are thankful too!

This guy not only helped me change a flat tire, he restored my faith in humanity. I told him I at least owe him a dinner, but he said that was not necessary at all.  Instead, he just reminded me to pay it forward!

Today I am challenging you (and myself) to learn how to fix a flat tire! You never know when you might have to change one on your own or lend a helping hand to someone else

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