Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Two Flat Tires

A huge part of my outlook on life is the general belief that things will work out. You have to have faith, especially when you encounter adversity. You might consider a flat tire a relatively minor setback, but for me it is one of the most frustrating things that can happen to a person. In the last two weeks I have been driving a lot. Twice inside of two weeks, I found myself with a flat tire. Both times the situation seemed hopeless. Both times, with the help and kindness of strangers, my outlook went from dread to an overwhelming faith in humanity. In both cases I could not thank my rescuers enough.

Flat Tire #1 – I was in St. Louis to attend a business conference. Anxious to start the day, I left my hotel with plenty of time for a visit to a coffee shop and drive downtown. My heart sank when I discovered my front right tire was flat… flat… flat. Almost like a guardian angel, a young black guy helped me wrestle with the spare tire. He asked for nothing in return. I must have looked pretty helpless. As the dawn started to break, I was able to find an open tire retailer. The problem was solved and I was still on time. I felt lucky. I felt fortunate. I was so happy to have the assistance of a perfect stranger. He said he was barber from St. Charles but to me he was an angel and a blessing.

Flat Tire #2 – Less than two weeks, later I set out on another routine morning. This time I needed to complete some business in Joplin, where I live. A few blocks from my house, I ran over a spike or a nail. Flat tire again! I pulled into a grocery store parking lot. It felt hopeless. I must have looked pathetic in my business suit as I struggled with the jack and my efforts to loosen the lug nuts. It was raining. Almost like a divine intervention, a woman appeared. She used her cell phone to recruit her husband to help me loosen those lugs and change that tire. Blessed again!

A flat tire is not the end of the world. But if you are me, on a typical morning, fixing a tire is the last thing you are prepared for in the darkness of pre-dawn or during a rainy downpour. Good Samaritans took the aggravation out of those two flat tires. I will remember both of these acts of kindness and am determined to return the deeds with a couple of my own when I see someone in a jam. I am so happy there are such generous and loving people in the world. I want to be like them.

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