Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A practical application of Newton's third law of motion.

The world is full of sinners and saints. Hopefully I fit somewhere in between (and closer to the saint end of the spectrum, I am certain.) And as much as I do love good mockery of jackasses, I also love stories of human compassion and goodness which do exist if you look.

Here are two examples:

MiniMac and I were taking a sprint around Piedmont Park. It was a beautiful and warm day so after visiting the Farmer's Market held there every Saturday, we venture off to the sand volleyball courts to run and play.

A few minutes into our fun, a man is quickly approaching and asks if I am JennyMac. I am.
"You dropped this on the other side of the park," he says as he hands me my wallet. I hadn't realized that it fell out of the Bugaboo while shifting things around to accomodate Farmer's Market purchases. He spent 30 minutes trying to find me. I was so grateful I wanted to hug him. I thanked him profusely and thanks to him, I didn't have a much more challenging day. Its one thing to hand something to someone who dropped it unknowingly. Its another to spend 30 minutes trying to scan a park using only a driver's licence picture to locate someone who you know will be very unhappy and potentially distressed to discover their wallet missing. The kindness of strangers, not to be overlooked.

The second example happened last week. Remember this day?  Well, I didn't get my glass of wine in a timely fashion at the end of that day. Why? Because, after leaving the office and heading to the gym I got a flat tire. Not a partially deflated flat but a full flat punctured by a large steel eye screw.

I discovered this flat tire at 4:45 pm at one of the busiest intersection in Atlanta of Piedmont/Lenox/RoswellRd/400. Anyone who knows this terrain knows you don't want a flat tire here at ANY time let alone 4:45 pm. I am able to hobble into a driveway near the front of the building and push the SOS button inside the car.  As I am waiting outside with my hazards on, not one or two or three people stopped to see if I needed help. TEN people stopped to see if I needed help. Mind you, it was 22 degrees out.  22 degrees seems like an airtight alibi for not walking across a parking lot to see if someone needed help. But they all did it.

The day ended with a replaced tire, after not too much further delay, a safe ride home, and finally that long-awaited glass of Cabernet.

Kindness of strangers, again, not to be overlooked.

Which is why my practical application of Newton's third law of motion is that for every d-bag action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

83 comments:

Kerri said...

What beautiful stories! In a world full of hate and predujice, how wonderful to hear of people who still do good, regardless of how uncomfortable they may be. Thanks for posting these!
God Bless!
Stopping in from SITS!
Kerri
www.sickofmg.blogspot.com

mo.stoneskin said...

Good job your drivers license actually looks like you. Right?

Maybe now is the time for a drivers license photo post. Let the masses decide...

secret agent woman said...

I just love hearing things like that and I think it is something we often overlook - there are many, many good people out there who are willing to extend themselves to help.

Ed Adams said...

Man is inherently good, since he was made in God's image. And yet, he also has the capacity for doing evil because of the sin in his heart.

ShellSpann said...

I love hearing things like this. It's RARE! :)

Secretia said...

It feels good to help people, but fear of strangers prevents a lot of good intentions. Good people have more good luck always. that's why you were lucky both times.

Secretia

Poindexter said...

Wow - Atlanta rocks! Must be a very friendly city, lots of wonderful karma, neighbors looking out for each other. Love it!

Cee said...

Aw stories like that make me smile :)

Tia said...

I LOVE stories that show that there still are truely good people out there! Your so lucky that one of the good ones found your wallet!

Susan Erickson said...

Kindness is not an option...it is the heart in motion...I believe most people are full of heart. That's what makes out world so special.

Mandy's Life After 30 said...

I love it! Faith in humanity should be reevaluated and restored now. Now you can pay it forward in some way! Glad everything worked in your favor.

GunDiva said...

Man, it's nice to hear this right now. It's been one fucked up week at work and I was beginning to wonder what happened to people. Now I know they've all moved to Atlanta :) Thanks for the uplifting post.

vanilla said...

And that "practical application" of NTLM is what keeps the world in balance. It plays the harmony to the music of the spheres.

Thanks for the stories.

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

Isn't that great when people are nice! It's so rare, but when it happens it makes you feel so good.

Laura Trevey said...

I try to think people are truly kind at heart!!!

xoxo

BigSis said...

I love the stories and I really love Newton's third law. I had a blowout on I75 about mignight when I lived in Atlanta and was so grateful for the trucker who stopped to see if I was okay.

foxy said...

Man, that is good stuff to hear. Restores my faith in humanity. :)

Michael Rivers said...

What a great post! It's always wonderful to hear about positive experinces!

Eyeglasses & Endzones said...

That was an awesome post! So glad to hear about positive things!!! ;)

Eva Gallant said...

Nice to know there are kind people out there!

leigh said...

I love this post. How lovely!

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

Was one of those strangers a somewhat muscular, tannish red-headed fellow with an Alabama hat and a sh!t-eating grin?

Don't tell me no if it wasn't; I'll just pretend my brother-in-law was there to help.

mama-face said...

I would have been in tears both times. The goodness in people touches me so much. I guess it is because I am such a cynic and I'm surprised by the kindness.

Loverly post.

VandyJ said...

So often we only hear about the bad things people do, it's good to hear about the kindness and consideration that people are responsible for as well.

Cathi said...

So true...years ago when I was a young girl, my car broke down on the coast hwy in California (where a town was 20 miles away)a man and his pregnant wife stopped and stayed with me until my friend came to pick me up. They had watched me run up a road when the sun was setting to use a phone at a house up in the hills, when they were taking a sunday drive. The man was a volunteer fireman and he stayed outside of the car while he was wife sat in the car with me. I have never forgotten that...I was very frightened at the time.

Working Mommy said...

You're so lucky that man in the park tried looking for you - and found you!! It is such a hassle calling all of those companies to try and get new cards - not to mention the stress!!

~WM

Lisa Anne said...

I totally agree with you!

Barbaloot said...

It really is wonderful to hear about people who help strangers. I admit I would not have stopped to help with your tire...mostly cuz I doubt I would know how, but I'd like to think I'd search for a wallet owner:)

Yankee Girl said...

You just gave me restored faith in the human race.

M-Cat said...

These are the kind of stories I love to hear about! 30 minutes tracking down someone to give her wallet back.

Just when you think you have lost faith in humanity, someone will up and prove you wrong again. LOVE IT!

ParisPink said...

I really enjoyed this post! Thanks for sharing!

Salt said...

Reading this cheered me up.
That man who searched you out to bring you your wallet is a wonderful person! Too many people would have pocketed it. It's nice to know there are some decent people out there. :)

That Gal Kiki said...

You are such a breath of fresh air, missy. Loved this.

NOw. It's quarter to 9:00 am here at work. Where's the vodka.

Janet said...

Those are great stories. The wallet one especially, because my boyfriend lost his wallet right before Christmas, and no one has turned it in at any stores he went to that day, or contacted him to return it. I was CERTAIN someone would return it. I mean, who finds someone's wallet at Christmas and keeps it???

The Vegetable Assassin said...

It's nice to hear there's still good out there. Because sometimes you wonder, you know?

I once fell ass over tit over a grate in the road in Manhattan and about twenty people pulled me up and brushed me down and worried over my bloodied leg and elbow. People are generally quite nice I think in some situations. It's heartwarming. Even to a black hearted cynic like me. :)

DeNae said...

I'm a real believer that gratitude is a skill, and the better you get at it, the easier it becomes. Before long, you are literally bombarded with things to be grateful for.

This post is an example of that. You could have stopped at "and I had a flat tire", or "and I almost lost my wallet", but instead you went on to recognize that there were others looking out for you, and then you acknowledged it.

I'm thinking this has nudged you all the closer to the saint end of that spectrum! WHEW!

Jen said...

I have been blessed by the kindness of strangers too. And I try and give it back too.

Kindness is such a beautiful thing.

JenJen said...

Thanks for sharing this, especially today. I'm having a craptastic spell of an even craptastic-ier attitude.
This helped.

The girl with the flour in her hair said...

Unfortunately, it's the strangers that usually go out of their way. Relatives are a different matter.

Wow, that was awkward said...

Those are great little stories. It's nice to know that not everyone is an asshole, even if it seems like everyone is. I think in general, if people would start with a positive attitude, they could get thru the tough stuff better. And I believe that you are probably a very nice person with a great attitude which had something to do with these good acts of kindness happening to you.

Cheers.

Little Ms Blogger said...

What great stories. I can only hope when others have great stories like this, I'm the person who did the kind act.

It must have felt great to be inspired by the goodness in people.

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

Thanks for sharing some nice stories. Nice to know there are still good people out there.

Nyx said...

Very nice. I never expect people to stop and help me (I'm a bit of an authority on car malfunctions and accidents), but for whatever reason someone always stops and helps.

Maybe humanity isn't so bad after all.

Slamdunk said...

Ok, so I'll give the human race another chance. Glad to read of your good experiences that could have easily led to 4 or so depressing posts.

Confessions of a Mother, Lawyer & Crazy Woman said...

Love this. Maybe I should move to Atlanta?

Pricilla said...

Karma...

Existential Waitress said...

Stories like this reaffirm my faith in humanity! I'm feeling inspired now - thanks for sharing! :)

Ela said...

The wonderful kind acts that remind us that life is good!
It's funny how when something bad happens I tell myself, "I will NEVER forget this" but months/years later, I often do. But it's the acts of kindness that are forever ingrained in my memory and in my heart. I hope when I'm old and look back, I'll remember those wonderful things.
So glad these kindnesses were shown to you, especially when you needed it.

Tiffany said...

so wonderful. really.

Erin said...

When the kindness of strangers appears, I am a happy camper. And I try to be the one paying it forward as often as I can, too. I'm so glad everything worked out. I heard about your frigid temps in HOTlanta and couldn't believe it! We are finally thawing out at 45 degrees today!

Vodka Logic said...

Nice to hear there are nice people left.. not just nice but wonderful.

My daughter dropped her new ipod at the gym and some ahole kept it...Pass some Atlantic people this way please

Kaela said...

I wholeheartedly agree with you on this. I live in Vermont, where there is no shortage of friendly, happy people. And what makes it so special is, the kindness actually INCREASES the colder the weather is. You would think in one of the coldest climates in the states people would be more in a rush or more apt to avoid the cold, but perhaps we've ALL been there - with our car stuck getting up the driveway or off on the side of the road in the freeeeeezing cold - you'll find people more helpful.

I think that the sort of people who focus on how many d-bags are in the world only attract more d-bags. The sort of people who focus on the good in people - not being naive and overtrusting, mind you, just in general appealing to the kindness in people - attract just that.

My name is PJ. said...

A little kindness and everything changes: loads are lifed, stress is reduced, moods are improved, days are salvaged and the parties involved carry something of the exchange forward with them.

The theory is so basic; it's a bit of a shame that we have to talk about the application as the exception to the rule.

Kate said...

It is great to still hear about random kindness. Gives me hope.

Kate xx
http://secretofficeconfessions.blogspot.com

Simply Mel said...

I'm going to drink to Sir Newton tonight!

brainella said...

Wow. This happened in ATL? I would have thought that everyone would be driving too fast at that intersection to see you let alone stop to help!

Mommy Lisa said...

I have an older example...but one I love and will have to share on my blog tomorrow.

:) Thanks JennyMac!

Leah Rubin said...

Heartwarming, indeed! And fitting that you would post this on the day they announced that Miep Gies died at age 100.

Who? She's the woman who helped the family of Anne Frank and others to hide in their 'secret annex' during WWII. She found Anne's diary after the family was sent to the death camps, and saved it to give to Anne's father who was the only family member to survive. Gies always claimed that she did nothing heroic, just did the right thing...

You encountered LOTS of people who did the right thing, too. It's encouraging!

And, Jenny Mac-- I did change my blog settings to show my e-mail address: lsrubin@yahoo.com. Thanks for asking!

kilax said...

It's so wonderful when we are reminded that not everyone is a d-bag. Are you sure it is a 50/50 ratio though? :P

otin said...

Anyone who stops to help you near Georgia 400 deserves a purple heart! I take 400 to my Dad's house. It is insane at traffic time!

Ivan Toblog (aka IT) said...

I just want to say awesome blog. It's pretty obvious a lot of others think so too. Sorry I didn't find it until it was too late to nominate.

The Boob Nazi said...

I needed this after fighting all day with my ex-bf about who's being more mature about the break up. THANK YOU. Everyone in the world does not suck haha.

shortmama said...

I always like to think there are 3 people out there who are nice for every 1 who is a complete a-hole. Maybe Im delusional but it gets me by.

So awesome that you got your wallet back!

J.J. in L.A. said...

How ironic! My post today starts out with a random act of kindness.

Great minds! : )

Herding Cats said...

This makes me realize...I need to be a kinder stranger to others

blueviolet said...

So they're out there! That is heartening!

Lauren said...

I love it when complete strangers do nice things for one another. It makes my heart feel warm 'n squishy.

Lauren said...

Those are two great stories!! In truth the kind strangers probably outnumber the d-bags, but unfortunately the d-bags are so much more vocal!

i am playing outside said...

I like this. I'm sending out 11 cosmic high fives to these strangers.

Little Ms J said...

I like your science, Jenny Mac. Too many people notice what is wrong and not enough recognize all that is right.

uggclogs said...

How lovely. I always try to be nice to others, and it is always nice to see when others appreciate this. I just hope that others will be inclined to help me if I ever am in need.

Lucky you, JennyMac.

Rowe said...

I tend to think there are more good people than bad people in the world. Unfortunately we hear more bad than good stories.

the walking man said...

There has to be balance in the back and forth motion or the equilibrium tilts and everything slides to one end then all motion stops.

Good karma doesn't hurt the + side of the equation either.

Joshua said...

IF 'D=D-bag Action'
AND 'O=Opposite Reaction'
AND 'D [NOT EQUAL TO] O'
THEN...why is 'D [GREATER THAN] O'?

Or does it just seem that way? And all too often.

-Joshua

Kathryn said...

I LOVE this. And just the fact that you've put it out there how much it meant to you should keep 'em coming.

Not to be overlooked by the Cosmos, I also am forever amazed by the kindness of strangers...those times when no action is required, but they do it anyway.

I believe they're called "good people"...and remind us that maybe...just maybe...most of us really ARE that way.

(This excludes chicken-wing-golf-guy. He's just an idiot.)

Rebecca Knight said...

This makes me happy inside :). Thanks for sharing, JennyMac!

Life with Kaishon said...

Oh, I love this post so much. And I love that the kind man searched you out. Very sweet. And the flat tire story makes me thankful also! So lovely! Kindness is my favorite thing in all the world. Next to my kid : )

Corrie Howe said...

I'm constantly overwhelmed by both the generosity of humans and the atrocities of humans.

Kato said...

I love this :)

We definitely need ore people like this in the world.

And the d-bags. They make good blog fodder.

The Absence of Alternatives said...

I want to agree. The universe has to be somehow balanced. BUT you either live in a more civilized city or you are just more attractive (I believe it's the latter): when I ran out of gas and was stuck, people stopped alright. They stopped to honk at me and to give me the finger! A bus driver stopped behind me and wouldn't budge. After I got out of the car to tell her she needed to move since I couldn't go anywhere, she yelled at me: Your hazard light isn't on!" WTF was that even relevant?! And it was SO friggin' on!!! Anyway, glad people somewhere showed some compassion...

CCW said...

I know that intersection well. I also know just how easy it would have been to trot right on out of Piedmont Park and run JennyMac's credit all to hell.

A couple of miracles, indeed.

Yay. Go karma!

Bossy Betty said...

These kind of incidents can get you through a lot!

citymouse said...

Sorry if someone else has said this... but there's 83 comments ahead of me (and I'm gonna be late for work if I don't get in the shower). Have you heard about the website Gives Me Hope? http://www.givesmehope.com/ Your story would be perfect there. Lord knows, without all the jerks in the world, we'd have nothing to blog about but it is nice to know people can be good too and those stories are maybe even more important.