David J.




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April 27, 2009

The Bad Driver and the Kind Woman


Two days ago, Mom parked her car in a bookstore parking lot. She locked her car and walked inside. Mom bought a book, went to the café and enjoyed a light lunch. After reading for an hour, Mom walked back to her car. When she arrived at her parking space, there was a red car parked so close to Mom’s that only Flat Stanley could have squeezed in the gap. She stood there in disbelief.


Mom looked back at the store. She hoped she would see the owner returning to the car. No one appeared.


The only way for Mom to get into the driver’s seat was through the passenger side front door. She would have to step across the gear shift, and under the steering wheel to get into her seat. Mom’s 76. She looks great. Her health is good, but her hips, knees and back are not best deployed for flexibility maneuvers.


Mom walked around her car and opened the front passenger door. She moved two packages to the back seat, and removed the water bottle from the drink holder. As Mom was doing this, an SUV pulled up in the space in front of her. The driver of the SUV, a woman probably in her 40s, saw the predicament Mom was in. She caught Mom’s eye, raised her hands in disbelief and made the sympathetic face of “can you believe that other car?”


Mom smiled, shrugged her shoulders and started making her way into the car.


Just then the woman in the SUV called over, “Would you like me to help you?”


“Really?” Mom said.


“Sure. I’ll back the car out for you,” said the woman.


Mom knew it wouldn’t be easy climbing into the seat, and it would be a challenge backing out without scraping the other car. Mom said, “Oh, that would be wonderful. Thank you so much.”


The woman stepped in Mom’s car, slid over into the driver’s seat, started the car and carefully backed out. She straightened out the car in the parking aisle and got out.


“Thank you so much!” Mom said to the woman.


“My pleasure. That was a tight squeeze. Glad I could help.”


Mom was so grateful she hugged the woman. As she did, a teenage girl walked up.


Looking at the girl, Mom asked, “Is this your mother?”


The girl inched closer to the woman and nodded, “Yes.”


“Well, your mother is a wonderful woman,” Mom said.


The girl looked at her mother and smiled.


The three waved to each other. The mother and daughter went into the bookstore. Mom got into her car and drove away.


This story reminds me to focus on what’s important in life. Some might be inclined to spend time focusing on the driver who pinned Mom in. They might say: “What a bad driver!” “There are so many terrible drivers these days.” “People just don’t care anymore.” The question to consider is how would this line of thinking help us or anyone with whom we share this story.


If you know my Law of the Garbage Truck, you’ll know where we should put our attention: We should let the negative things we cannot control – like the poor parking job of another driver – pass us by. That way we are free to focus on the good – a kind woman who came to Mom’s aid, Mom’s expression of gratitude and a girl witnessing her mother’s kindness.


Someone’s bad parking job is not the important part of this story. It’s just the set-up for the good that came next. That’s the part of the story worth telling. And that’s how Mom told it to me.


David J. Pollay is the creator of The Law of the Garbage Truck™. Mr. Pollay writes the Monday Morning Momentum Blog each week. He is a syndicated columnist with the North Star Writers Group, creator and host of The Happiness Answer™ television program, and an internationally sought after speaker. Mr. Pollay’s book, Beware of Garbage Trucks!™, is due out later this year. Mr. Pollay is the founder and president of the consulting and seminar organization, The Momentum Project.


© 2009 David J. Pollay. Distributed by North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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