I was driving in Las Vegas, NV on my way to the Goodwill Clearance Center in North Las Vegas. As I approached a traffic signal, I could tell there was a problem. The light was green, but the traffic was not flowing.
The car in my lane that should have rolled when the light turned green was not moving. The pickup truck second in line zipped into the left lane and zoomed away. I didn’t have time to follow the truck before other cars were blocking my entrance into the left lane. I had to stop behind the stalled car. The light turned red again, and cars stopped in the left lane.
A man got out of the car at the front of the left lane line. I’m going to help you, bro, he called out to the guy blocking the right lane.
I ran out of gas, the man in the stalled vehicle said.
I’m going to pull into the gas station across the street, the good Samaritan said. Then I’ll come back over and help you.
At first I thought the men probably knew each other. I figured a dude saw his homie in trouble and stopped to help him. However, as I stayed stuck behind the stopped car through several light changes, I wasn’t so sure. When the helpful man trotted over from the gas station, the men didn’t embrace or shake hands or chitchat or ask about each other’s mammas. Neither man indicated in any way that they were friends or even friendly. They just got to work figuring out how to move the car across the street to the gas station.
I was touched when I thought the one guy had stopped to help his friend, but I teared up when I realized the guy had stopped to help a stranger. Sometimes we think only people in small towns will help people they don’t know. It’s good to remember that people in big cities help each other too.
Sometimes strangers are kind. Sometimes we are a beautiful species.