Recently, I was driving down 111 when a car went racing by me just as a young deer started to cross the road. The driver wasn’t paying attention and hit the little guy full on causing it to go flying high into the air and landing on the median shoulder. The car kept going. I stopped, and of course, I’m hysterically crying and called 911. The little guy didn’t die so I went over to him as he struggled to get up. I’m waving at traffic trying to warn them not knowing what side of the road he might try crossing. It looked like he either broke his hip or leg. He crossed the road from where he came and went into the woods. A couple of officers stopped and they went into the woods to see if they could find him (for which I thank them profusely for being so kind to me and for trying to find the young buck). They said they saw him, but he kept running from them; therefore, they couldn’t do anything. The incident was extremely traumatic for both me and the young deer.
To add to this story, even though people saw me frantically waving to slow them down, not one person stopped to see if I needed help or to see if I was okay! Granted, I know many people are afraid to stop and help anyone anymore. On the other hand, have our lives become so busy that we can’t take the time to stop and help someone in need? I always try to stop to help people, but I will admit that there have been times when I was afraid to stop; therefore, I called 911 to let them know of the situation.
The other day I was on Facebook and saw a great video that showed one person showing kindness to someone, and it started a domino effect where the people kept paying it forward. Imagine my surprise when I read the comments under the video saying that there is no kindness in the world anymore! I reposted the video with a comment saying that if you don’t see any kind acts anywhere, then stop complaining and start being kind! Gandhi said “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” So many of us complain about what’s wrong in the world, and yet we don’t help contribute to what’s right. When did it become a rarity to be kind?
The Bible tells a great parable about the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). Jesus had told an expert in the law to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” The neighbor asked who his neighbor was, and Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ Jesus then asked, “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus then told him, “Go and do likewise.”
William Penn stated, “I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.” And even Dr. Seuss had something to say on the subject: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
It doesn’t take much to be a Good Samaritan. Just start with one kindness, one person at a time. You’d be surprised how all those kindnesses can add up and you’ll be making a huge difference in the lives of others and in the world.
Published in the Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper July 12, 2103.