A Flat Tire Shows the Kindness of Strangers
Here at Inspire Conversation we love to read and share great stories of morality, charity, kindness, and the many other great qualities that help us to grow into better people. When we take these character traits as something to not just talk about, but to live, we can see opportunities to make them a part of our daily lives. Sometimes we even encounter great stories in our own lives that deserve to be shared.
On our recent end of summer vacation in Israel, we had an opportunity to see thoughtfulness in action. During an evening drive of about two hours through the desert, on our way to meet a guide who was to take us spelunking at sunset, our rental car got a flat tire. It was frustrating to say the least.
We piled out of the car and assessed the damage. A passing car slowed down and stopped, the couple inside got out and asked what they could do to help. They went on to offer not only advice, but support as well as they helped search the car from top to bottom to locate the spare tire. Then another car passed by and its three passengers got out to try and help us locate the spare tire (which oddly, was nowhere to be found) and offer assistance.
They all stayed with us for what must have been about forty five minutes to an hour, helping us to feel a sense of comfort rather than frustration. Everyone was relaxed and friendly, and the people who stopped and tried to help us were warm and gracious. Once it was clear that the rental car company was sending a replacement vehicle, the people who stopped to help us had to move on, and our guide started to make his own way up to meet us where we had broken down. At this point the sun had set, and in the desert, far away from civilization, this meant pitch black and a rather eerie environment. We had nothing for light save a few headlamps for our upcoming caving adventure and our cell service was very spotty, but we made the best of it while we waited on the deserted road, on a bluff overlooking the Dead Sea.
Eventually our guide arrived, now ninety minutes past when we were supposed to meet him. At this point we assumed that our excursion was off, and that we were out of luck on this particular adventure. When he arrived he said that despite having to adapt his own schedule and stay out much later than expected, he was happy to push on with us and make it work. We had an amazing time, and not just because we still got to go.
For our children, and our family, it was an adventure. Truly an unplanned adventure, and one that we probably could have done without, but we enjoyed it nonetheless. As far as vacation snags go this was one of the bigger ones we have ever had to deal with, but it provided us a chance to experience (and be moved by) the kindness of others. Our plans were changed from what they had been when we set out, but the unique opportunity to see such thoughtfulness and feel so cared for by complete strangers ended up being an even more valuable experience than if things had gone smoothly.
This evening was a powerful one for our family, showing us the true spirit of caring about others, with our family sharing a chance to be those “others.” These people we encountered really seemed to want to help, despite the fact that they had no connection to us, or any obligation to do anything. Even our guide, who could have easily cancelled the trip, went above and beyond to help us have a great experience, starting an adventure at 10:30 PM instead of 7, and ending at 2:30 AM instead of 11PM.
They say that “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” and in this instance, this saying is very appropriate. Our ability to enjoy and make the best of a bad situation was greatly aided by the thoughtfulness of others, and has shown us a very real example of how much better the world can be when people look out for one another.