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The kindness of strangers

I came across a first, for me, this week.  As I was heading into downtown Raleigh, for a meeting, I came to a major (like 5way, two lanes from each direction) intersection where the traffic light was out.  There was no police officer directing traffic.  Do you think I was a little nervous about sticking my nose (of the car) out there to test the waters for crossing the intersection?  You bet!  Thankfully, everyone else appeared to be just as cautious and I made it through without a scratch – grin.  Interestingly enough, the next light was out, and the next, and the next.  All the lights were out up the entire length of the street, with no one directing traffic at any of the intersections.

I did make it to my destination, a parking garage.  The gate was up and I couldn’t get a ticket even if I had wanted to, and I did try.  It was rather dark in the garage.  There were no open parking spaces until the top of the building, which is uncovered.  I was okay with that, because – at least I could see there.  Then I realized, the elevator probably wasn’t going to be working.  Well, that’s okay, I like to think I am fit enough to walk down seven flights of stairs.

There were two gentlemen coming to the same conclusion that I did and we all got to the stairway about the same time.  One guy stepped in and started walking down, the second guy held the door for me as I started down, then he stepped in and let the door close behind him.  That was it, we all came to a dead stop.  It was pitch black, I mean can’t see your hand in front of your face dark in the stairwell.  Yikes!

The man closest to the door opened it back up and told us to go ahead down.  That was very nice, but how would he see?  So the guy in front of me went down a flight and stopped to open the next door.  I then passed him and went to open the next door.  It actually worked pretty well, each of us alternating and holding doors open to light the stairs for the others.  At the bottom I was ahead, one of the guys was right behind me and I said, “If my husband were here, he would have his flashlight out.”  The guy next to me had a V-8 to the forehead kinda moment (chuckle) and said, “Wait a minute.  I have a flashlight app on my phone.”  It’s a good thing he did because the last flight was actually two flights so the daylight was pretty dim and the phone flashlight came in handy.  We both had a good laugh over his forgetfulness, and we all thanked each other for helping get us out of the stairwell without any split heads or broken bones.

I think there’s two take-aways from this story.

ü  Strangers can work together for mutual benefit

ü  Always carry a flashlight, or a phone with a flashlight app…. AND USE IT (teehee)

 

 

 

*This blog written by Pam Horton, a life coach in the Raleigh/Durham area.*

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