Last night I spoke with a friend who wanted workout with me at around 8:30pm.
Little did I know, fate had in store for me other plans.
Driving towards the gym I take a circumnavigous route that lets me skirt traffic around a neighborhood mall by taking a side street running adjacent
that shopping center. And that short drive on a rainy night took me down a four-lane road where I found traffic detouring around an obstruction
sitting immobile in the road.
A van had broken down in the non-curb lane, and rested there inert with flashers on as traffic continued pulling around it and countless other drivers
remained willfully oblivious unto the obvious plight of the people in that car. I saw that situation from a distance--seeing that vehicle stranded
about 2,000+ feet away from the mall entrance where it could at least wait safely until help arrived, and witnessing everyone else pretending that
problem didn't exist as they sped around it without providing notice or aid.
So I decided take the road less traveled. I pulled into that mall entrance, and parked there with my own flashers on.
Then I walked out into the rain, went back towards that van, strode out across the street and offered a hand.
"I can help you push your car into the mall," I said to the man in the passenger seat.
"You wanna push it all the way there?" he asked with surprise.
"Sure, why not?"
At the moment, he and his girlfriend were on her new phone dialing everyone they knew in search of help. But no one seemed be responding, because at
last he took my offer of aid. Then he got out from the van where he'd been sitting helpless for who knows how long--and together we went to work.
I never intended doing any leg exercises that night, but pushing a van over 2,000' along a mild gradient uphill sufficed to get my quads burning and
my hips aching and myself wondering why that road needed be so long. But together, eventually, we managed push it into the mall where I discovered the
problem was a dead battery and probable alternator issue, as the van just died unexpectedly midway down the road.
Lacking jumper cables myself, I dialed my friend and apologized that I'd be arriving late at the gym. And he told me a nearby gas station would
probably sell them.
So there I drove, there I bought cables, and together we finally got that van started and that poor couple on their way.
The jumper cables I gave them as an early christmas present. That experience I'll remember for the rest of my life.
But by now you might be wondering: Where's the philosophy?
Well, here it is: When you see someone in distress, when you see someone who so obviously needs aid--get out there and help. Regardless the
inconvenience to yourself, no matter the cost or trouble, do everything in your power to make the problems of other people vanish--and you'll find
your own concerns disappearing in turn.
Truth be told, even though I eventually got to the gym and met my friend as planned, that impromptu leg workout was one of the best of my
life--because doing something nice for fellow human beings in trouble left me feeling way better than any combination of sets and reps I could've
performed at the gym. And that feeling of knowing I went above and beyond doing something that others neglected attempt will be something I can carry
with me always.
So seriously--get out there and help. It might not happen often, it might remain an occurrence infrequent, but when you see someone in obvious need of
aid, be the person who steps up and goes above and beyond towards saving the day.
Last night I could've done what everyone else did and simply drove around that unexpected obstruction in my path.
Instead, I did something different and became an savior to a stranded couple in desperate need of aid. I remade myself into the hero of that
story--and in your own way in countless situations--you can do that too.
There's nothing different between you and me. There's nothing preventing you from doing exactly the same.
So next time you see a situation where you can be of assistance: don't think, don't hesitate, don't consider. Just get out there and do everything
possible to help.
Go out into the world and remake yourself into the hero.
And you'll benefit yourself in far more ways than just spending another rote night at the gym.
edit on 30-9-2015 by Trachel because: (no reason