A Small Act of Kindness Made a Big Impression at this Arizona Gas Station
One Headlight Leads to Illumination
It was an average weeknight. I met my husband for dinner after work at our usual spot. We got into our respective cars and headed toward home, but about two minutes later, I got a phone call.
"Follow me to the gas station up the road," he told me. "I think you have a headlight out."
Half the Light I Used to Have
My husband pulled in next to a gas pump, and I pulled into the space behind him. Meeting him in front of my car, it was obvious. Sure enough, my passenger-side headlight was not working.
After a few minutes of him telling me, "Turn on your brights...now the low beams...back to brights..." he determined the headlamp was indeed out. We live about 20 miles outside of town and the gas station is just around the corner from our house.
Running back into town for a new headlight, especially at this hour, was out of the question. I was worried. I wasn't sure what I was going to do about the light. I definitely didn't want to get a ticket.
Let me back up just a little. As I was getting out of my car, I noticed another car facing toward us at the next pump. It got my attention because it was the exact make and model of mine. Now, my car is nearly 20 years old, so it was quite a coincidence.
I chuckled slightly under my breath as I put my car in park, "Maybe he has a headlamp for my car," I said to my husband. What were the odds of that, I thought? But then, what were the odds of finding my twin car at the next gas pump?
A Random Act of Kindness
The man with the Twin Car noticed us trying to troubleshoot the headlamp. "Hey, do you need this?", he asked, holding out a brand-new headlamp, perfect for my car, still in the packaging.
I stared at his hand.
"What?" we asked, amazed! Was he really answering my whispered request to the Universe? Yes, it seems, he was! The light worked perfectly!
Illumination and Serendipity
We chatted for a while. The man told us he runs a small, local media company and he'd been working hard to grow his business. He looked tired and told us he'd been double-timing it, trying to play catch up after losing so much time over the last year.
"It's been rough lately," he said. "I beat cancer last year, and I've been working hard just to keep my family afloat." But things had turned around for him, and he told us he did what he could to pay his good fortune forward, whenever possible.
Just before he drove away, he told me something that stopped me in my tracks. "I felt like I needed to stop at this gas station tonight. I can't explain it," he said. "My tank was on empty - had been on "e" for a while, and should have put gas in long before I got this far out of town. Yet, something told me to stop here tonight."
I'm not sure what forces were at work that night, but I thanked him again and told him I'm glad he stopped there, too. That small act of kindness made a big impression.
LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving
Gallery Credit: Sophia Crisafulli
LOOK: 50 cozy towns to visit this winter
Gallery Credit: Laura Ratliff
Offbeat adventures: Travel to the coolest hidden wonders in every U.S. state
Gallery Credit: Sandi Hemmerlein