Do a good thing. It will make your day.

04/06/2009 at 5:19 AM Leave a comment

Someone recently voiced wisdom. When you do a good thing without any expectation of reward the real winner is you. Sure the good deed might help someone or many people and the person might even pay it forward. But the point is that you are the main initial beneficiary and it is so readily available to everyone.

It can be as easy as putting in nickels in expired parking meters. putting a small piece of gum on a colleagues desk (anonymously, no hidden agendas here). You never know how a tiny thing can turn someone’s life around.  But the amazing thing is how it can turn your own around.

There was a Sunday night so long ago it is hard to remember feeling so young. My wife and I were driving home and were arguing. Who knows what it was about, young married people seem able to argue easily. I remember that I was feeling miserable about the day and the night and the argument. Suddenly a young wet disheveled man was waving us down. I slowed and cautiously lowered my window. 

He needed a jump start, his car had died in the parking lot of a mall and he offered to pay the only dollar he had to his name. Good Story but  I was wary.

But sure enough there was a lone car in the parking lot and I decided to look. I drove down while he walked back and circled his car. Sure enough his wife and  a baby girl were in the back seat just like he said. If it was a con, it was very very well thought out. 

So I left my wife with the car and I looked over the engine ( BTW, I love cars, although at the time I knew only a little about them). It was  a very old, well used car and it was no surprise that it had trouble starting. 

He told me that he was starting his job in the morning at the store in front of us and they had decided to drive here to scope out the parking and the store. His wife seemed scared, the baby was calm.

We hooked up the jumper cables, but his engine would not start. He was of course deflated, but I could not leave them like that, alone in the rain. At the time I was a physicist aspiring to be a mechanic. I told him to wait and let the car’s battery charge up a bit. We cleaned the contacts some more and with only a little more effort we got his car started. 

To see the load come off his shoulders was worth it. He offered me his lone dollar which of course I refused, I had received something far more valuable. I was happy, content and no longer knew what I was arguing with my wife about. What price can you put  on that?

I shook his hand and told him to continue to take good care of his baby. Then I watched him drive away and my wife and I went home happy. 

Sure he got something,but we got the best end of the deal. I tell people, that when things feel horrible, to try to do something for someone who is worse off. The more anonymous the better. It fills the heart. It has been a blessing to me for the last 30 years.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Patient’s Choice Weekend–on Call, Oh my, Oh no

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


April 2009
« Mar   May »

Most Recent Posts

%d bloggers like this: