Recognizing a Good Samaritan Story in Rural America
A Good Samaritan story in rural America recently had Hank pondering his own experiences.
Emergencies are simply opportunities to help our fellow human beings.
Recently while reading an article by Justin Horner on The New York Times website, I was reminded about one of the best parts of being human. I’m not talking about the miracles of music or art. Nor the joys of a sunrise that sets the eastern sky on fire or the delights of preparing an amazing meal and sharing it with someone you love. I’m talking about that rare bit of warmth that makes your heart glow when you encounter an opportunity to do the right thing.
In the article, Horner recounts a heartwarming Good Samaritan tale – in this case, he was on the receiving end. Long story short, he had a flat tire on a busy freeway (in a borrowed car with no jack), and after being unable to help himself, he placed a sign in the vehicle’s window with this simple message: “Need A Jack.” Tow trucks passed him by without so much as a glance, as did thousands of other motorists. In time, a van stopped – this van was a little rough around the edges and contained a migrant worker family – and only the young daughter spoke English. After considerable effort, Horner and the man who was driving the van got the tire changed. Here’s where it gets really interesting. Horner tried to give the man a $20 bill – he refused it. So Horner next slipped the money quietly to the man’s wife. As he started back to his car, the girl asked if he was hungry and handed him a tamale. Back at his car, Horner opened the tamale to find his $20 bill. When he attempted to give the man the money again, that migrant worker conjured up this much English: “Today you, tomorrow me.” And then he drove off.
Earlier this year, I was in a hurry to tend to an animal emergency at the farm. I had neglected to put gas in my pickup before I got to the office and completely forgot that I needed it before hitting the highway. The truck sputtered to a stop about three miles from home – close but too far at the same time. I jumped out and started walking with my thumb in the air. Not even a minute later a well-worn pickup pulled over. The farmer and his young son had seen my truck and knew I needed help. Needless to say, that was one of the best rides home I have ever experienced, and, no, he didn’t want any payment – he said the privilege of having the opportunity to do the right thing was all the payment he required, and I knew he was right.