The kindness of strangers

I wasn’t brought up in a redneck family, country maybe, but not redneck.  My Dallas lifestyle is far from redneck.  BUT I had 4 glorious years of college that were a wonderful exploration of life’s finer things – 4-wheelers, bonfires, and big jacked up trucks. For 24 hours, I relived that part of my life at Rednecks with Paychecks and it was everything I wanted it to be.  Separating myself from the bustling city life I was reminded of some important life lessons.

Overwhelmingly I left being reminded of the goodness of people.  We often are feed so much negative news that we forget the vast majority of people are good at heart, generous & helpful.  Without ulterior motive, people would stop what they were doing if they saw someone who might need help.  Whether that meant offering a ride, giving a push, giving directions, people took care of each other.

FlippedTruckAs you can imagine with this particular event there were plenty of vehicles getting stuck, flooded, flipped and suffering broken parts. But unlike the city where people avoid eye contact and try to stay out of other’s problems, everyone was there to help.  People would stop their ATV, get out and wade through knee-deep mud to help push another person out. This truck was flipped on it side around 5pm on Saturday. By 10pm that truck wasn’t there anymore.  Someone had found a way to right it and then tow it out.  An amazing group of strangers came together to help somebody get their truck back.

Stoney1One of my favorites, Stoney LaRue, played in the evening.  I had made friends with a few people and we had worked our way up towards the front which was great.  But I am a shortie – not even 5’3 so concerts aren’t always an easy thing for me. But again, friendly people rallied to help others.  The group of guys were immediately in front of me made space and invited me to stand in front of them to help me see.  This happened again and again until I was on the second row.  Being this close for a favorite of mine singing one of my favorites, “Look at Me Fly” was a really special moment.   There were lots of warm and fuzzies when I reflected back on how the selflessness others allowed me to have that moment. (Just as a note, there is no official video but at least you get to hear this awesome song if you haven’t before.)

This morning on the way out, you saw the teamwork of people again.  Everyone cleaning their camping spots, helping load trailers, and strap down off-road vehicles.  Everyone trying to leave the land the way it was when we got there (other than some serious tire tracks) so that we can continue to come back twice a year to be with like-minded people. Salt of the earth types that want nothing more than to enjoy life, have fun and leave this earth a good place through their smiles, kind words & actions.

As Monday comes around, I challenge you to find the good in people and help them see the good in you.  Help another person out – stranger, friend or family.  Even a well-timed smile can make all the difference in the world to someone having a tough day.