Daily Joys and Simple Pleasures

I intended to provide an unexpected kindness on this day – the celebration of William Jefferson Clinton’s 65th birthday.  Random kindness where there is a real need.  The only thing more “clinton-esque” would be purposeful informed kindness where there is a real need.

With that intention I headed out on my errands.

Two cars were ahead of me at the stop sign. Neither showed any inclination

toward movement.  The second vehicle, a white truck,  pulled over to the shoulder,

rolled his window down and shouted to the driver at the stop sign, “Sumpin’ wrong?”

All I heard in response was a bunch of words punctuated by a “won’t go.”  Instantly the second driver was out of his truck, yelled, “Neutral,” and put his shoulder to the back of the stalled truck.  I don’t talk truck and I barely talk “car” (although I DO listen to “car talk” on NPR with great engagement) but I saw a Clinton kindness potential.  I said if the stalled vehicle was still there when I was done with my post office errand, then I would offer my help.

Ten minutes later…there he was.  Hood up.  Puzzled look on his face.  And one tired big dog pacing his truck bed.  I pulled alongside and here was Bill Clinton’s birthday present, “How can I help?” This was all about the model of Bill Clinton’s capacity for kindness.  So I didn’t asked, “CAN I help you?”   His need for help was obvious.  I asked, “HOW?”

Twenty minutes later we determined his battery was too dead for the kind of charge my old dependable could offer.  But I did have one cell phone to his zero…so I offered that for calls.  And, I prayed.  I didn’t pray that I could start his car but that he would have a good solution.  After determining I couldn’t help any more, I saw one thing I COULD do…his big dog was panting fiercely in the afternoon sun.  I told him I’d be right back with a big bowl of water for his dog.  Just as I was climbing back in my wheels that worked…the answered prayer walked up in a pair of Carhartts.

When I returned moments later with a big bowl of water…Mr. Answered Prayer Carhartt was walking out of a local business with an extension cord…plugged in to the source inside.  He had a battery operated charger (just happened to have one in his truck) and assured the Big Dog’s man that ten minutes with that puppy plugged in – his car would start without a stutter.     I patted the dog, shook the charge-ee’s hand and said to Mr. Carhartt, “I bet being at the right place at the right time is one of your best things.”  He just smiled.  Real big.

I walked away, happy.  Now if it had been President Clinton offering that kind of assistance – he surely would have been recognized (for years international polls have named WJClinton as one of the most recognizable faces in the world).  Me?  He had no idea who I was and I didn’t tell him.  No name – no sense of obligation.  It was a purposeful kindness toward a specified need…and as I went my way home I found myself humming my favorite  birthday song.

Happy Sixty-Fifth Birthday, William Jefferson Clinton.  You inspire the world with your kindness, compassion and service.


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