Saturday, November 19, 2016
I wasn't gonna post the rest of the year since Nov IWSG, but this incident just needed addressed.
Yesterday I was rescued by a very nice young man in Idaho. I ran out of gas on I-15/86 between Pocatello and Burley/Heyburn. If you've ever been through that stretch of interstate you know how far it is between gas stations. Yes, I was stupid for not filling up in Idaho Falls; 26 degrees, I was running late, and thought I could make it to Burley.
Less than 7 miles from my end destination (Loves Travel Stop, Burley) my car sputtered, and died on the interstate. Those advertisements for 50 miles on empty doesn't go as far at 80 mph as it does at 55. About 30 seconds (yes, less than a minute) into my walk up the I-86 a car pulls over and the driver asks me "do you need help?"
I gave him and his car a long assessment before I answered yes and asked if he would give me a lift to the nearest gas station.
"No problem," he said.
Mr Nice was named Jason and he was 21 years old. He was on his way to Boise to visit family and friends on his University break; he'd been back home in Idaho Falls for three months from a 2 year LDS mission in Mexico City. Friendly, talkative, enthusiastic about his religion and upcoming University semester (majoring in Denistry). He expounded on his personal and spiritual growth during his mission, and I was eager to hear his story. I have rarely met such a well rounded and grounded young person. His open personality intrigued me to listen to him. (I'm a social worker, remember? Curiosity comes natural to me.) I was sorry to see our time end.
He not only drove me to the nearest gas station, but also drove me back to my car with my 2 gallons of gas (to get five miles down the road) and figured out the gas nozzle thingy that environmentalists have installed to make emergency roadside gas fill ups - whatever! We spilled at least a quarter of the gas on ourselves and the ground in the learning process, but he finally figured out how to get it to work. After all that trouble, he refused all forms of payment I could offer.
A true hero who rescued an old lady on the side of the road simply because he could. My life has been enriched by the 40 minutes I spent with this marvelous individual. I would have liked to hear more of his Mission adventures, but we each had separate lives to attend to.
Thank you Jason. God bless you and keep you safe in your future journey. Because of your thoughtful intervention, I was able to complete my own business mission and move along in my journey home.
If you've read this far, maybe you'll read a bit further. . .
You see this post and maybe think, "sheesh, so he gave a ride to a fat old chick on the road. What's the risk in that? What makes this a 'moment' for him to brag about?"
Well, as a road traveler; I can tell you its a big risk to pick up anyone on the road, regardless of the circumstances. In today's world, you never know when your generosity, your faith in humanity, might get you shot. Or robbed or raped; murdered and drug off to be buried and never found again. You think I exaggerate?
I'm not against gun toting Americans. Sometimes, ya just gotta protect yourself and your loved ones. And maybe armed America is what literally keeps the bad guy countries from invading us. I don't carry a gun cuz I'd likely shoot myself, or get it taken away by a perpetrator and get shot with my own gun. Some people just aren't meant to carry weapons. We're meant to kiss ass to those that know what they're doing. I married a guy like that. I have friends like that. I am not ashamed of my lack of Annie Oakly skills. I'll befriend Carol, Maggie and Rosita on TWD if the world comes to that.
Some people are wimps; some people need to protect wimps. Just call me Eugene!
I worry about nice guys and weirdo's though in today's society. There are idiots out there who think the right to carry a gun gives them the right to shoot it at anybody who pisses them off or doesn't agree with their world views. The beautiful kid that rescued me took a big risk that I wasn't an idiot with a gun. Yes, I thank him, but also worry about him. Next time, he may be rewarded with a gun to his head. A good guy doing the right thing; being taken advantage of by a self absorbed criminal. The world can be insane like that.
I've rescued some people along the road myself. People standing next to their car, waving down help on the freeway/interstate. (I did not ask for help, I just walked and hoped for a police man.) I've traveled enough to know where cell phone and internet service is non-existent. I've made snap decisions to assist, and so far, its all been paying it forward to this day when I needed a trusting person to stop for me.
You may not get how momentous this rescue was for me, or for this young man. We both lived through it. I could have gotten into the car with a serial killer. He could have picked one up. Trust, faith, belief in humanity is most often rewarded with criminal activity or death in today's world. If you've ever considered stopping for someone stranded beside the road, and felt guilty when you did not, perhaps you'll have an insight of how difficult the decision to be a caring human being is these days.
Its a huge risk. There is no shame (in my opinion) in driving by. You just never know. Ask the two cops who got killed sitting in their squad car drinking coffee and shooting the breeze about nothing important to anybody but them.
Life can be dangerous and risky. But sometimes, its beautiful and fulfilling.