Would You Have Turned the Car Around and Stopped?

After I dropped the older kids off for their art class on Wednesday, ED and I headed home.  On the way, we were traveling on a bustling 4 lane road.  As I drove down the road I noticed an older gentleman (mid-to-late 70s) who was slowly sitting down on the curb next to his lawn mower. He reached down with one hand to help himself get down onto the grass.  I glanced back in the rear-view mirror and saw him wipe his brow and sit awkwardly. A million things ran through my mind, but within seconds I moved over, made a left and turned around to go back and check on him.

I was able to stop safely on the side of the road, waved at him as he looked up, and then got out to make sure that he was okay.  He smiled and said he was just getting too old for this kind of thing (mowing the lawn) and needed to take a rest. He assured me that he was just fine and thanked me for stopping.  He then struggled up as I got back in the car and headed off.

Photo Credit: Man cutting grass with lawn mover, via Shutterstock

The incident got me to thinking about the times I stop and the times I don’t.  Most of the time when I have the kids in the car or am alone, I don’t stop to ask people if they need help (when I’ve seen people broken down by the side of the road and that kind of thing). In this day and age, I figure most people have a cell phone. And, because I usually have the three kids with me, I think twice about stopping… I take all the factors in — like the time of day, our safety pulling over on the side of the road, but honestly most of the time I drive on by. Most of the times we have ever stopped to check on a stranger, Hubby has been with me.

But then at the same time, a year or so our car ran out of gas (long story). Hubby went off with the kids to get gas (in our other car) and I stayed with the car. I was really appreciative when several people stopped to see if I needed anything.

What do you do in those situations? Would you drive on by? Stop and check on him? Have you ever stopped in to help someone else out?

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