The High-Way Perspective

He who saves one life saves the whole world.
~ Jewish Proverb

A few days ago, I ran out of gas.

I don’t mean figuratively, I mean literally. Two miles from home, right before my exit, my car buckled, slowed down, and gave up in the middle of two lanes on a two-lane highway. It was my fault. I forgot to get gas in the car and halfway home, when I realized I had forgotten, I thought I could make it. But my car had other plans. It was done.

So, in the middle of rush hour, there I was. Stuck in the middle of the highway. And since my cell phone was stolen a few weeks ago, I had no way out on my own.

So I tapped into my faith in people.

When traffic let up a bit, I got out of my car. Most people looked straight at me and kept driving around the obstacle I had created. Others honked. But one lady slowed down. She used her cell phone to call for help and then went on her way. Then, a young guy rolled down his window and asked if I needed help. He stopped on the side of the road, and came to push my car to the shoulder, out of harm’s way. Then, he searched online for the AAA number, which was nowhere to be found, so he let me call my husband to bring a can of gas for me.

Needless to say, it was an adventure. But not one I would like to replicate again.

The whole affair made me think of the nature of people. Most people on the road that day just flew on by me, when I was clearly in distress. Some even honked at me, as if I was choosing to block the highway. And if I wanted to, I could focus on those people and what the world has come to that they couldn’t even stop to help out a fellow human.

Or, I could think about those two people who did stop. I could focus on how wonderful people can be if given the opportunity. Neither of them had to stop. They could have passed right by me just like everyone else, but they did. They tapped into their humanity. They helped out a stranger in need.

And so it’s really about where you choose to look. You can change your life just by shifting your perspective. The truth is, if you look for negativity, you’ll find it in every corner. But if you instead make the choice to see good, you’ll find it everywhere too. And you’ll see that people can be good.

That people are good.

The guy who pushed my car out of the highway wasn’t a saint. He was just a regular guy. But he made the choice to be kind. And I am making the choice to remember his kindness.

So thank you, random highway guy. In a small way, you saved my life. And in saving me, you saved my perspective of the world.

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