The Kindness of Strangers

baxterclare Uncategorized 7 Comments

Good news: I’m staying at a cabin in the mountains with my two dogs.

Bad news: We parked at a trailhead to go for a hike and when I got out I saw I had a perfectly flat tire.

Good news: I was able to find a level spot in the adjacent campground and put the spare on.

Bad news: The spare was flat.

Good news: There was a gas station just a couple miles down the road so we drove there and they had a working air hose!

More good news: The spare held!

Better news: We drove back to the trailhead and took our hike.

Bad news: While I was changing the tire at least half a dozen people cruised past me, and about the same number of rubberneckers watched from the nearby dog park, yet not one slowed to ask if I was okay, or strolled less than two hundred feet over to see if a 63-year old needed help changing a tire.

Good news: I’m a 63-year old healthy and smart enough to fix her own flats.

Bad news: What happened to kindness, to caring about a stranger? Circumstances permitting I always stop and ask a distressed motorist if they need help. Usually they’re fine but a couple times I’ve been able to jump a dead battery with my nifty deli-sandwich size charger and once I helped a teen who had no idea how to change his flat. None of the stops took more than 15 minutes and each was a huge help to a stranded stranger. 

Good news: I didn’t need the help but a little moral support is always welcome. I’m going to keep being kind to strangers and hope it spreads.

(PS – go check your spare tire and if I’m around I’ll help you change it.)

Comments 7

  1. Good news: There are people in this world lucky enough to have someone like you in their life!

    Bad News: Not everyone is as lucky!

    Good News: I’m one of the lucky ones!!*

    *Great blog Vicki! Hopefully more & more people will get the message and be as thoughtful & caring as you!

  2. First of all: you appear to be half your age & you’re confident & apparently you know shit. And furthermore-Covid/the Plague seems to have made people far more tentative. (But I’m with you on offering help whenever possible❤️).

  3. I totally relate to your story. I’ve had flat tires with 3 grandkids in the car once in Idaho Falls during a deep snow. The other time with the grandkids in pouring rain in Oregon.
    Both times the kids felt my confidence on changing the tire. Hopefully this seemingly challenging event can help those kids somehow find their own courage.

  4. That’s not the end of the story. I’m Baxter’s wife. When she got home she told me about a car that looked to be in need of assistance and at least four cars passed by including Baxter. The difference is Baxter went back. She found that the two adults and two kids had no cell service to call for help. She got their family’s phone number and made the call for them when she got in range. That’s the kindness of a stranger.

  5. Post

    Side note: I wrote I always stop and that’s a lie. A couple months ago I was driving along the highway and passed a pickupt that had flipped over onto it’s side in Lane 3. I kept going. It was raining hard and I didn’t want to stop. I called 911 and just kept driving like everyone around me, assuming someone else would stop. I still feel a lot of shame about that. I told myself I wasn’t a first responder, if someone was seriously hurt I wouldn’t know how to help. Bullshit. I know basic first aid. I know how to hold someone’s hand or cover them with an umbrella at the very least. Next time I will inconvenience myself and do the humanitarian thing. The Golden Rule, right? It’s what I’d want someone to do for me.

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