Last night, I encountered a Midwestern traffic jam. I suppose the phenomenon is not particularly unique to the Midwest – I’m sure if you’re from a rural community, you’ll know what I mean. I try to be patient when I encounter farm equipment on the road because it’s not the farmer’s fault the tractor (or combine, in this case) only goes 20 miles an hour. They’re just doing their jobs, after all, and it’s a very important job. We need farmers.
Besides, it doesn’t do any good to get all worked up about it – it won’t make them go any faster.
But last night, it was late. I was tired. I’d been fighting a migraine all week, and I just wanted to go home and crawl into bed and die (or at least go to sleep). I was not in the mood to wait patiently while the farmer ahead of me unloaded a combine of corn into the two semis parked along the road, but there was nothing I could do.
Gravel roads are narrow. Farm equipment is not.
Luckily, the driver of one of the semis saw me waiting and let the farmer know. He finished filling the first semi, which pulled away, then backed off and waved me around the combine and waiting semi. I was unbelievably grateful for that small act of kindness – I’m sure he just wanted to go home, too.
Today, I finally felt a bit better. I’m hopeful that I’ve seen the last of this migraine, and that my insurance will cover the new (and expensive) preventive medication my doctor wants me to try. I had a pleasant morning at an auction. But when we got home, we discovered that we were out of bread, which made our planned lunch a challenge.
So Bubbles and I hopped into the truck and headed off to the local truck stop, which is closer (but more expensive) than the store. We put some gas in the truck, found the bread and buns we needed, and set off for home…
…only to be greeted by this.
It was in almost the same place as the traffic jam last night. I texted Seymour, who had lunch all done by this point, and said, “You’ve got to be kidding me.”
My phone rang; it was Seymour. “Really?”
“Really really,” I said.
This time, though, it wasn’t dark, and the farmer saw me right away. He stopped filling his semi and pulled off into the field so that we could get past, and we made it home before lunch had time to get cold.
It really is the little things in life.
Kindness may be a small thing, but its effects can be huge. It makes me smile to see these small acts of kindness still present in the world because maybe that means we’ll be okay in the end. Small things often become big things, and you never know how those small things will change the world. Maybe they won’t, but maybe they will.
All it takes is just one person, just one small act of kindness, to make the world just a little bit better than it was before.
What small things have you seen lately?
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