Quote of the Day - There are no traffic jams when you go the extra mile.
Driving back from LA on Friday, traffic was stopped: dead stopped. You know, the kind of stopped you just know will turn you and several thousand of your nearest friends into a 30-second segment on the 6:00 evening news, while the rest of us watching groan with an at-too-well understanding of your plight.
Traffic started to move slowly on both sides of the freeway, but not in the middle. Fortunately, I was on one of the the sides that was moving, not too far from the start of the traffic jam. Within a car length or two, I saw what was going on.
One 6x6x8 piece of lumber lay askance in the middle lane, blocking traffic. It looked like it had already been run over; a couple of chunks of lumber (the size of 2x4's) were scattered nearby.
Perhaps realizing the futility of his position, the guy driving - ok, well parked - in the middle lane immediately behind the offending tree trunk, was getting out of his car.
On the 405 freeway.
In Los Angeles.
One of the busiest freeway in the world.
As he got out of his car, his intent became clear. That tree trunk was going into the back seat so he could go forward. Into the back seat it went, but it didn't fit completely in, so part of it ended up sticking out the back window a bit, but not so far that it would interfere with anyone driving alongside him.
But the most amazing part about the whole situation on the freeway was what wasn't happening. No one passed him. It was as if we all realized that if our cars in the front allowed the cars in the backed up lanes behind us to speed by, someone would hit this guy and likely injure him, if not kill him.
The guy who was doing all of those cars behind him a favor. Saving their cars from getting hit with that piece of lumber otherwise known as a tree trunk, saving those lives who surely would have been changed if hit by a large flying piece or pieces of wood.
So we stopped and waited for him to finish. Sure, there were a few doors that opened in an attempt to offer help, but he waved us off, thinking I'm sure that it was safer if we all stayed put and let him get the lumber off the road and get it done quickly so we could all go forward again.
I have no idea who this good Samaratin was, but I sure want to thank him. For those you who were stuck behind the six cars that stopped all traffic so this guy could do his good deed for the day, you never knew how close you may have come to changing your life for the worse, even though you were sitting in your car complaining about the traffic back-up.
But know this. One man and a few onlookers saved you. It didn't take a CHP traffic break. It didn't take an accident. It took one person who did a good deed.
Remember that the next time you see an opportunity to do your part.