Being stranded without a car blows, no matter where. Being stranded without a car in a “foreign” city is even worse. You know how you manage? Roll with the punches. As frustrating as car repairs can be, I’m keeping in mind where I was a year ago and what I was up against—unemployment, mounting debt, inability to pay bills, stress, weight gain, anxiety. Compared to all that, burning eight hours of PTO and getting stranded overnight in Kokomo is an adventure, not a crisis.
And along the way on this adventure, I’ve quickly realized all humanity is not dead. Hardly. I’ve relied on the kindness of strangers to make it to my next stop and they’ve only been happy to help.
Steve, the tow truck driver gave me a lift to a motel. Josh, the night clerk at Comfort Inn, cut me a deal on the room, even though I didn’t ask. Kevin, who was at the same mechanic as me this morning, offered to give me a ride to Starbucks so I didn’t have to wait three hours at the shop. And the folks at Thrifty Auto Repair will come and get me once the repairs are complete.
What do all these people have in common? They’re perfect strangers whose common thread is they helped make my day a little less stressful. Why did they do it? If I were to guess, out of empathy. Sometimes people are nice just because.
It’s great when you can rely on your friends. But it’s pretty damn cool when you are the benefactor of the kindness of strangers who ask for nothing in return. The moral of this story: pay it forward.
And NEVER leave home without a spare toothbrush. You never know when you’ll need one. Trust me.