Chief Thoughts: Paying it Forward

Josh Bennett


On Thursday, April 16, I was driving to fill up my car with gasoline, but I didn’t make it to the gas station and my car stalled, causing me to pull over to the side of the road on Calloway Drive near the Westside Parkway. I know it was stupid and that I could have filled up my car earlier in the day, but it happens, and my lesson was learned. (If you wish to ridicule me, please email us at [email protected])
After calling AAA and waiting for about a half hour in the blazing sun for some roadside assistance, I noticed how many cars just drove right by me while I roasted in the sun awaiting my gas delivery.
Only four cars rolled their window down and asked me if I needed anything, and two of those were BPD officers, so they were just doing their jobs.
Two people, out of hundreds of cars zooming by me or keeping their windows up, offered some assistance to me. The first person offered to drive me to a gas station to get some gas and the second person offered me some bottled water while I waited outside for help. I was very grateful and thankful that they did this for me.
If you do the math on that, that’s a very low percentage of people that offered to look out for me when I needed it.
Now I’m not advocating for people to pull over to the side of the road or to hold up traffic to check on every person that’s broken down, but if traffic is stopped, like it was when I was checked on by these fantastic people, what does it hurt to put your window down and just ask if they are fine.
I’m not saying I have always, or ever, done this, but I will start doing it now, knowing that there are still good people in this world. Even though my sample size produced a very small result, I think that if I can ask someone, then the seed might spread and more people will start asking others if they need any help.
It has to start somewhere, so why can’t it start with me and you?