On December 21, 2012, the world failed to end.
Cataclysm didn't strike. Disaster didn't ensue.
But my reality forever changed.
My sister lives in Burlington, Vermont: a cute little tourist town amidst a rather picturesque state.
There you can find a plethora of microbrews on tap in gourmet restaurants, you can discover a monumental Christmas display that culminates with a
brilliant First Night celebration on New Year's Eve. And there you can find (within an hour or two in any direction) reasonably impressive mountains
and epic powder skiing.
Thus there I intended spend my holidays--and that voyage I intentionally planned for the end of the Mayan Calender.
If I was going out with a bang I wanted it be en route towards fun, so on that potentially catastrophic day I packed my luggage, loaded the dog in the
car, and set out for adventure.
Only the weather failed cooperate.
The drive from my home to Burlington is roughly eleven hours. And that's with clear highways and decent conditions.
Thus the snowstorm that struck that day really ruined my plans.
The first big blizzard of the year struck on Mayan doomsday, and within a few hours of skies clouding over and snowflakes falling fat, the highways
around my house had traffic stuck bumper to bumper.
So after many phonecalls and much consulting of the weather report, after many pleading requests from my sister to ignore the blizzard and still come
up, I made a reluctant decision.
I chose to turn around--and that's when my reality transformed.
Driving slow down backroads heading towards my house, a strange anomaly I noticed in the distance. Because whilst those roads remained otherwise
clear, far ahead in the opposite lane I could see a string of headlights stretching from here unto eternity.
Coming nearer I discovered the problem--a car had rear-ended someone then broken down in middle of the road. Now there it remained there stuck while
behind it an endless string of traffic piled up. Horns were honking and people were irate, but nothing anyone did lent an iota of force towards
clearing that obstruction.
And then I decided make a change.
In the past I've been indifferent towards the plight of others. In my history I've a long string of callous behaviors.
But on Mayan doomsday I pulled up alongside that car, rolled down my window, and asked, "Would you like some help?"
The girl in the car was flushed and tear-streaked, distraught beyond measure. She was so upset she didn't understand what I asked.
"I can help push your car to the side of the road," I offered.
"PLEASE!" she sobbed.
She was sixteen years old. It was her first time driving in snow... and this happened.
No way could I leave her in distress. Pulling into a driveway I ran out into the busy road. Once more I gave zero effs, and soon I commenced pushing
Yet on those ice-slick roads, my 170lb frame couldn't budge it an inch. But I kept pushing and heaving and straining and trying... and eventually, a
little miracle happened.
Someone else showed up and started helping push. Then another person ran out from a nearby house and lent his strength towards that endeavor.
While roughly fifty cars remained lined up and stuck in traffic behind this poor girl, while roughly fifty people sat there and did nothing towards
helping themselves move forward, three complete strangers worked together and pushed that car out of the way.
I love that story and adore reliving that day, because it taught me a vital lesson:
Even if you can't get the job done yourself, even if you know you'll fail alone--whatever the problem happens be, if it's important enough, step
forward and try your best.
Be the one who steps up and takes first crack at pushing the car. Struggle until others grow inspired.
Sometimes all people need is to see a good example.
So get out there and start leading the charge--and others will inevitably follow.
edit on 23-7-2015 by Trachel because: (no reason given)