A Simple Act of Kindness

One small lesson in civility and generosity

Posted Oct 12, 2015

On a sweltering summer day, I had to detour into a dark garage in a building undergoing construction and had an unfortunate altercation with a low concrete abutment. The right side and front wheel of my car were "scrunched" (scraped, crushed and crunched). I just made it out of the garage before the tire flattened, was stopped in the midst of a busy construction zone with orange cones and hard-hats, moving workers and trucks.

The foreman yelled for me to get the hell out of there. I called the car company emergency line, which informed me they'd be there in 30 minutes., and said foreman was not pleased.

I decided to change the tire myself, a simple enough task. I did manage to get the spare tire out of the trunk, but that was it: This tough job was beyond my meagre skills.

Some workmen observing this scene (and this forlorn soul) came over, offering to help. They proceeded to work so hard in the heat, I worried about their health. After 20 minutes of exertion, the crew members got that intransigent spare tire on.

I was beyond grateful for their efforts, thanked them profusely, and offered them payment which they all politely refused.

One of them (Jim) said, "My daddy always taught me that 'this is what people do for each other, and you'll do the same for someone else.' We pass it on to each other...Together we make a better world..."

I asked for their names, which they reluctantly shared with me, and I phoned the construction company CEO, praising his men highly. He thanked me, saying he wasn't surprised, "We're a family here."

Jim's dad was right: "Together, we make a better world."

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