Monday, August 17, 2009

Good People

A doctor said to his patient, “You have a slight heart condition, but I wouldn’t worry about it.”

“Really, Doc?” the patient replied. “Well, if you had a slight heart condition, I wouldn’t worry about it either.”

We can sometimes get the impression that most of the world is more or less out for themselves and that people care little about the plight of others. But I choose to believe differently. I believe that a lot of people are basically concerned about others, even if they don’t always know how to express it. That is perhaps why a certain story, clipped years ago and filed away, has remained one of my favorites to this day.

A trucker relates that he was traveling through rural North Carolina on I-95 when a brown sedan merged onto the highway. It weaved back and forth between lanes, causing the driver of the truck to shift into a lower gear. At first he thought the driver was drunk, but when he came closer, the trucker saw an old man shaking uncontrollably behind the wheel. He noticed a Citizen’s Band aerial whipping to and fro as the car jerked between lanes, so he called on the radio: “You in the brown Chevy, if you can hear me, pull over. Pull off the road!”

Amazingly, he did! The trucker pulled up behind the car and climbed from his cab. The elderly man staggered from his auto and fell into the trucker’s arms. He poured out a story of months of fear and pain that accompanied the illness of his only daughter.

Now he was returning from the hospital where it was decided that she would cease any further treatment. In the hospital he remained “strong” and stoic for his daughter, but out on the road he fell apart.

The two men talked for the good part of an hour. The father eventually decided to share his pain with his daughter and said he felt good enough to drive home. The men embraced and the trucker followed him for 50 miles. As they drove along, the two talked together on the radio.

The older man finally acknowledged that his exit was ahead and thanked his new friend again for the help. The trucker asked if he could make it home all right and, suddenly, a third voice broke in on the conversation: “Breaker 19, don’t worry, good buddy. Go your way. I’ll see him home!”

Glancing in his mirror, he saw a livestock truck move into the exit lane behind the brown sedan.

I think there are good people the world over. People who will gladly give that caring touch, a needed warm embrace or a patient and listening ear. They are like angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.

Look around. You're sure to see one. And look in the mirror. You might spot one there, too.

-- Steve Goodier


Larry said...

Hi Steve,

What a beautiful story. It's great that your readers can now comment on your stories and see how others are touched by them.

I also chose to believe there are many caring souls who would go out of their way like the trucker did in this story.

Larry from Canada

Yvonne said...

I am also touched by this heartfelt story as I have been of some many in the past. I'm glad to know we can now express that here with others. Thanks for my "Life Support System"

Deborah said...

Hi Steve,
I love your stories. I, too, have been witness to "good people". My real life story took me across the state of Florida from Tallahassee on my way home to Cocoa Beach. It was Dec. 17th, 1981. My younger daughter, Julia, was 5 days old, and Sarah was 5 years. We had been at my midwife's, outside of Tallahassee, giving birth. My car broke down, I only had enough money for gas. A man in a suit stopped to help. He took us to the next town and to a gas station. While the owner of the station fixed my car, the tow truck owner had me wait with my two girls over at his daughter's house. She had a brand new baby too. We spent the day with her, trading birthing experiences, feeding our children, then the gas station owner called to say my car was fixed. When I got there, they told me the man in the suit paid the bill as a Merry Christmas gift. I loaded up my girls and we drove the rest of the way home. What a lovely day it had turned out to be.
I have no doubt, there were angels there to help me that day. We had no cell phones in 1981, I had no credit cards. Yet a stranger was there within minutes of my car breaking down. And he paid the repair bill. I never got to formally thank him, but, I have told the story of the miracle man in the dark business suit that stopped to help a single mom with 2little ones get safely home the week before Christmas. What a blessing he was!

Annie said...

This story gave me goosebumps. I witness more and more people who are 'me, me, me' oriented. However, it is the ones who give of themselves that really leave an everlasting light. Beautiful post.