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April 27, 2009
The Bad Driver and the
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
Mom smiled, shrugged her shoulders and started making her way into the
Just then the woman in the SUV called over, “Would you like me to help
“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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
David J. Pollay. Distributed by North Star Writers Group. May not be
republished without permission.
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