thanks for the brake!

Posted: July 10, 2010 in Uncategorized

I intend to do this rarely.  but to highlight how your action refreshed me, i’m going to rant briefly.

JUST when i was about to give up on humanity as drivers, you showed me that common courtesy CAN be found.

Setting the Scene:

I’ll admit it.  I drove past her too.  I thought about it for too long, and when i had decided to pull over there WAS nowhere to pull over.  So i continued on to my apartment to grab the things i needed for sports tonight.
As I drove past, i could see that she was frazzled.  she was in the middle lane, on a busy busy road, on the overpass over the freeway, with three children in the car… no shade, in the hottest part of the day.  I felt horrible.  I had waited for about 40 minutes on that 200 metre stretch of road to get past her.  I knew she had been there at least as long.

So i decided to go back.  I was going to pull over on the opposite side of the road, but there was no opportunity again… and I wasn’t about to park THAT far away from my own infant daughter.

So… I drove around the block and waited through that same traffic for another 20 minutes.  I rolled down my window and asked people point blank if they were in a hurry.  when they said no, I asked if they would help push the woman’s car, because it was uphill and I knew I couldn’t do it myself.  Not one person said yes.  I heard such things as, “it’s too hot”, and “I’ve just worked a long day”

I pulled over.  I was mad, but mostly worried about the woman.  I brought the jerry can of fuel that i had picked up… just in case that was the problem, because i knew it would be another hour if i had to do another back and forth.

turns out it was the problem.  this poor woman sat with her three small children in the blazing son, as literally hundreds of cars went by her for an hour and NO ONE stopped to help!?

following that, impatient drivers, irate about the delay, proceeded to cut one another off, gesture in an unfriendly manner, and in other ways simply display bad road behavior.

and you, red car… you sat through the same things that I did.  you were likely as tired and frazzled by the stalled car, construction and poor driving as I was… you’d certainly spent as much time waiting as I had.   You braked for me twice, and I am so grateful.  first after you saw me help the woman in the car… I don’t fault you for not stopping… you and your wife looked to be at least 70, and not in the best of shape.  I hope you don’t mind my saying so.  braking to let me in was a kindness i was NOT expecting at that point.

Later I had navigated my way ahead of you and stopped to withdraw some cash from the ATM at the gas station…  I didn’t realize how foolish my choice of atm was until i looked at the WALL of traffic streaming towards me, and realized that with no right of way, the chances of someone braking for me were pretty slim… I was weary and frazzled, my daughter beginning to let me know of her impatience at ear splitting volumes.  your brake was an undeserved kindness, at just the right time, and I am SO grateful that you were willing to endure the scowls and impatient honks of the people behind you as you let me in, so i could get home.

May your consideration and thoughtfulness bless MANY others the way it has blessed me, and may you be surrounded with people who show you the same kinds of consideration, respect, courtesy and throughtfulness.

You are a welcome reminder that even in traffic, there are people who can think outside of themselves!


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