I am only one day back from an amazing two-week camping trip with my family when my husband gets too close to a sharp curb and BOOM! We've blown out our tire. At 4PM on the Sunday before Labor Day we've created a one-inch gash straight through our tire. We race to get the spare on before the tire store closes and get there with just enough time to get the tire changed. As my husband and daughters watch the process with interest, I stepped out to call a family member who texted that we needed to talk.
The conversation that followed is a long, hard story and I'm too raw to get into those details, but suffice it to say, I was a wreck.
I'm now sitting in the deserted parking lot of a tire store, crying. Crying hard. I am by myself and don't have to worry about how my kids are going to react, and I need this moment, so I embrace it. I'm keening as I sit on the pavement of the parking lot. When I'm done sobbing, I take a deep breath, put my head in my arms and fold into myself for moment. I take a deep breath to get composed and I look up.
And I'm now looking at a huge bright black truck with two shiny faced young woman staring at me. I haven't heard the truck drive in so I know they've been there while I was making my ruckus. They must have seen me from the road as they drove along the in front of the store, turned around, and come back into the parking lot and just waited. And now, as I've now finally looked up, one asks, "Can we drive you somewhere?"
"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion." - Dalai LamaTweet It!
I'm still recovering from letting myself go, and I am a bit confused by these two girls being there, so I don't answer right away. "Can we help in anyway?" she asks again.
And now I am smiling a bit. I wipe my tears and explain that my car is being fixed and it should be ready to go momentarily. I use my finger to circle my tear stained face and say that "all of this" is actually about something else completely. And now I am smiling even more. I tell them that they have already helped by just offering their kindness. I'm so impressed and touched that they had the peripheral vision to not only see me, a stranger in pain, but then go out of their way to try to help, that I now can't stop smiling.
I thank them for stopping and they wish me good luck and are on their way. Their compassionate act has brought me a little happiness during an incredibly sad moment. For that, I am thankful.
Heather Campbell is the CEO of Ready Set Recover, a revolutionary company empowering people to go from surgery patient to Surgery Participant by showing them a better way to get ready for and recover from surgery. She lives in Greenwich Village with her husband, daughters and dog and is thankful for her wonderful community.
Love to write?
Every month we select at few writers to help us explore what it means to live a life of reflection and intention. Reach out to Jennifer, our Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Welcome to Holstee
Our monthly membership helps conscious people (like you!) libe a more meaningful life through actionable guide, inspiring art, thought-provoking content and a like-minded community.BECOME A MEMBER
This article is part of our series on the theme of Compassion.EXPLORE Compassion
Distilled from our Manifesto, positive psychology, the science of mindfulness, and ancient philosophic studies we have identified twelve themes core to living both fully and mindfully. We mapped these twelve themes to each of the twelve months in a year. Together with our community we explore one each month.VIEW OUR THEMES