My bike is still in the shop so I’ve been driving to work in my car. Today the traffic was terrible in the afternoon. I left work late, and it was worse than normal. About 5 miles into my commute I see a stalled truck is causing some of the problem. Older guy, white hair and beard, stuck in his F150 in the #4 lane.
We’re all kind of creeping around him and suddenly I see a guy who looks like young Marine cut across from the shoulder, walk up to his window, say a few words, then go to the back of the truck and start pushing. He’s young, barely old enough to buy a beer, wearing full BDUs and the 8 point cap, I think it’s called. And not faking it, his trousers were bloused properly and everything.
‘What the fuck?’ I’m thinking. ‘We’re on a hill, no way is he going to get that truck moving.’ I’m a few cars back and I’m thinking “OK, I need to get out and help.” I know how dangerous it is playing on the freeway, but this is guy will hurt himself and the truck isn’t moving.
As I’m looking for a way to pull to the shoulder and help, and I see a young Hispanic guy, 20’ish run out and get behind the truck and start pushing also. Pretty soon they get it moving, and it’s picking up a little speed. The little car behind them shielded them as they pushed the truck over to the shoulder while we all yielded and waited for them to get it to the shoulder.
As they finish, I see the Hispanic guy and the Marine shake hands and wave. Hispanic guy waves to the old white guy in the cab. The Marine goes up to the cab and started talking to the driver, while the Hispanic guy ran back to his car, smiling. For that small fleeting moment, it wasn’t a white guy, a green guy, and a brown guy out there in the road. It was three American dudes trying to help each other get out of a shitty situation and find a better end to a shitty day.
I’m sure there’s a moral or something in here but I’m too dumb to string together enough words to make it meaningful, so I’ll just say: Look for opportunities to help a stranger. Find someone who needs a kind word. The sun will rise and together we can win.