Do you sometimes feel alone in an uncaring world?
If so, I’d like to tell you a story. In June, 2000 in Playa del Rey (CA), I stopped my car at a cross walk for a woman crossing the street.
As I waited, in my rear view mirror I saw a large red SUV approaching fast. When he got within 25 yards, and never slowed down, I knew he couldn’t stop.
And my stomach sank, as my heart jumped with fear.
He hit my little red car with tremendous force crushing the backend and slamming the car forward several yards past the cross walk.
Thankfully the woman crossing the street was not yet in front of my car and was not hurt.
The violent impact of the collision echoed through the three story office buildings and single story stores on either side of the road and people rushed onto the sidewalk to see what happened.
The man who caused it was 6 feet tall, over 200 pounds and in his early 20’s. He stormed out of his SUV and wild with anger screamed, “Look what you did to my car! I just got this car and now the front end is smashed!”
He raced to my driver’s side door, motioning and cursing, his face red and his eyes bulging.
I had done a mental survey and began thanking God that miraculously neither the pedestrian nor I had been killed nor hurt. I felt an inner-peace which calmed me. I also thought I could control the situation by my response to it.
Still sitting in my car I turned to him and asked if he was hurt. He yelled, “No! But look at my car!” thrusting his arms in the air. Then as he paced in circles several feet from the car, cursing to the heavens, other people leaned into my car and spoke to me.
One man, an architect who was working in his office, heard the crash and rushed down to help. He wanted to know if I was alright and should he call an ambulance.
I told him that I was going to go to the hospital to be checked but I thought incredibly, I was fine.
Another office worker and a third man, a pedestrian who witnessed what happened, also wanted to comfort me. All three men wrote their names and phone numbers in case they could be helpful with my insurance company or to testify in court.
The young man who had caused the collision came back and began to curse the people who had gathered around my car. At that point, I got out of the car and quietly but firmly told him to get his driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance.
As I walked him toward his SUV, I told him I would also get those items. As he was rummaging in his glove compartment, I thanked everyone profusely for their support and assured them I thought I was fine and that I would let them know what would happen next.
Each offered to stay and I assured them it wasn’t necessary but that I appreciated their concern.
Others offered to help as well and it occurred to me later that ironically, the only one who didn’t stay and didn’t get involved was the woman who had been crossing the street.
In the interim, the young man calmed down, and as we exchanged insurance information, he saw my car and with his head down, in a low voice, he apologized for the collision.
I called my wife Anne who drove me to the hospital and after an examination, the ER Doctor told me I was fine. But given my history of back problems, he prescribed physical therapy.
Subsequently, my insurance company settled my claim and I called all three Good Samaritans to thank them again and let them know the case was resolved.
Six years later, I’m thankful for what to me is a miracle that the pedestrian and I were unhurt. I’m also thankful for the warmth and kindness of the three Good Samaritans who were there when I needed them.
Success Tip of the Week:
If you think having three Good Samaritans is unusual, near you are people assisting others in hospitals, in senior citizen centers, in food banks and elsewhere. If you haven’t already done so, perhaps you too could become a Good Samaritan.
In the next KazanToday:
A woman hurt deeply when she discovered her husband was having an affair. Choking back tears, she asked how she can ever trust him again and we’ll see if there is a way.