Digging the altruism

I helped a man unstick his car from the snow and ice yesterday. On the way back from taking my neighbor to her friend’s house for the weekend I noticed a guy, in our neighborhood, who had gotten his little car stuck in the middle of an intersection. It was blocking the way of a car who had just pulled up.

He had hopped out and was trying to use a screwdriver or an ice scraper or something to scrape snow from around the back tires. Being rear-wheel drive, the car was going nowhere because one of the back tires had sunk into a little ice pothole. I offered to steer if he and the driver of the blocked car would push. Sidenote: the blocked driver and I tried to push once, but the stuck driver didn’t stay behind the wheel long enough to see if it would work. He hopped out of the car to take me up on my offer realizing that a screwdriver or ice scraper wasn’t going to get the job done.

So I got behind the wheel and after several rocking sessions and I’m sure a couple of hemorrhoids for the guys we unstuck the car.

It felt really good to be able to help that man out. He said thanks, we each pronounced pleasantries and were on our ways. It was doing something good just for his benefit. At first I debated whether to stop. I figured two guys could get a little car like he had unstuck; what kind of help could I provide? Also, I had to get back home because the girls, Du’s mother and I were going to try to catch a bus to his work to meet him for lunch. I guess I did come to the conclusion that I could at least find a large branch to stick in front of his tire so it could gain some traction. So I did what needed to be done.

I’m not always so observant. In fact, I don’t really notice many times during the day when I can even be helpful to others. I’m praying God opens up my eyes to the little acts of service like that. I get so involved in my own little world that my “eyesight” is often turned inward  on maintaining myself, my husband and the girls. But then, would that be selfish? To want to help people out because of the satisfaction I get? I really don’t think that should be an issue.

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8 thoughts on “Digging the altruism

  1. Du says:

    You do help people out all the time and that’s a great thing! I notice and it inspires me to try harder to do that and not always worry about efficiency. As someone told me, Jesus did most of His ministry (helping people) in the spur of the moment on the road going from one place to another.
    Yes, you are right though, we should always have that “help radar” on to be on the look out for who needs help – whether it be physical help (like the stuck car) or just a listening ear for emotional or spiritual help; even if it causes us to be delayed in whatever activity we were going to.

    • Vicki says:

      Wow, that’s interesting that the study found that. I’m sure they also found a baby boom nine months later 😉 I hopefully will keep my eyes a little wider open after the snow.

  2. What a great post 🙂 Warmed my heart. You never know who you are helping, and I like to think that people will “pay it forward” but treating others with kindness. But – you make an excellent point on actually observing when people need help. I, too, tend to be caught up in my own world and not notice these things.

    Happy V day, V!

  3. would that people would be that “selfish” every day!

    I think the same thing is true about the holidays. People can be so generous and kind at the holidays and then it’s like someone flips a switch … that’s done.

    Being useful is such a satisfying thing. And, sometimes the littlest things we do are really BIG for some people.

    Keep your eye to the good!

  4. what a great post.. and I had to laugh at the rear wheel drive because we have this OLD 9 passenger van that is rear wheel drive and we could not get off the ice… twice yesterday…we were out rocking and Zach pushing…making horrible noises that the neighbors in buildings kept coming out to look at what was happening… lol and it was so ridiculous. We even poured water on the ice and Zach also used the scraper and that helped some. It was so ridiculous. After we got to our destination we pulled up on the curb half way thinking it would surely come off easily…but no we had to get out and rock and push…

    Zach tells a story about how he was in MN and had to get up at 5 for work, but his car slide (after a heavy snow) right into the line of cars on the other side and blocked them in…so he put a note on the other car saying what apartment he lived in and if they wanted to leave, they could come get him and help him push his car out of the way… and no one ever came, so he went out looking for other people trying to leave and helped a man in his car, but he didn’t then stop to return the help….he just drove off. Needless to say, Zach was late for work that day.

    Oh and I love that your husband comments on your blog. Awesome!

    • Vicki says:

      I can’t believe people would come out to see what the noise was but wouldn’t offer to help you! I don’t have much experience with snow, so I’m so glad we’ve got an SUV that can get me around in my snow ignorance 🙂

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