Last week something happened to me that made my heart swell!
I really want to share the experience with all of you, not because I need to brag about what a good person I am, but because I want you to know how easy it was for me to shift my attitude. By stepping back for just a moment, I can easily turn a problem into an opportunity to feel really good!
I had been in training all day at the local Census office and decided that I would just stay in town before heading out to Palo Cedro to my other job that started at 6pm. It was about 4:30 and my brain was full of federal policy and procedure, my eyes were bloodshot, and I looked awful. The pollen count was making my allergy symptoms pound in my head to the tune of the workman's jackhammer, and I still had at least four more hours of work to go. I was headed across the Cypress Bridge to browse a bit at the thrift shop and since the bridge is still under construction, the traffic was bumper to bumper with everybody jammed in close to the detour barricades. I caught the light at the Athens intersection, so I made a full stop and was just about to make the right on a red when I got hit from behind.
I know what happened---the guy thought that I would roll right through the stop light and in the split second that I stopped--- we connected. I looked in the rear view mirror and signaled to the him that I would pull ahead and out of the street. He followed me around the corner in his big king cab truck and got right out, apologizing all over the place and proudly showed me that he had his license and insurance in hand. I got something to write with and sat down on the bench to exchange information, while the young man just stood looking at my bumper shaking his head. He was about my sons' age and dressed in one of those bright green construction t-shirts, jeans, and work boots. I said something about how busy the bridge gets at this time of day and that he must have just finished work. He looked at me and said that he was lucky to get this great job last month and that he just bought the truck last week. My heart was breaking when I asked about his insurance deductible and that maybe it wouldn't cost that much to fix my bumper. He said that whatever it cost, it would be more than he could afford, but at least he was legal now and had insurance. I looked at the policy and noticed that he had just purchased it the day before.
We've all been there, right? Every day, I see people struggling to do the right thing, to make ends meet, to support their families in whatever way that they can through these tough times. And in that moment, the mother in me stepped forward and I knew that even though I was struggling too, I could help this young man. I handed him back his paperwork and told him that I didn't really care if my car had a dented bumper and that I knew this was just an accident and that I didn't want him to worry about it.. His face brightened and he asked me if I was "for real". I told him that I'm about "as real as it gets" and that I wanted him to know that people care, people are kind, and most of all that what comes around really does go around. He asked if I meant "karma" and I smiled and told him that now he has the opportunity to make the world better too. I started to walk off and looked back to see him grinning as if he had just won a jackpot, and asking if he could come mow my lawn, or do some painting. He said that he was a hard-worker and that he knew he was responsible and wanted to pay for what he did. I told him that I knew that and that I could tell he was a good person who tried hard to do the right thing. I told him that I thought it was important that people who made an effort to do good work, tried hard to improve themselves and be responsible citizens should always be rewarded in some way. I think that we should all notice and compliment that sort of behavior. I shook his hand said, "Hey, keep up the good work.", and I drove off. I instantly felt better.
Submitted by Anonymous
We've all had people in our lives who have made a positive impact on us. A parent or grandparent, a sibling who was there for us, or maybe even just a guy who shines shoes for a living? Whoever they are, tell us their story so they can inspire us even more.Tell Us Your Story All Everyday Hero Stories