NEW RICHLAND-HARTLAND-ELLENDALE-GENEVA AREA

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Last week, I experienced something I don’t think I’ll ever forget.

I was grocery shopping at Wagner’s in town, and when I returned to my car, an older gentleman pointed out my rear right tire was flat. My tires had been leaking for a while, so I didn’t think much of it. I thanked him for pointing it out and headed to One Stop to refill it.

Once I got there and put the air in my tire, it was obvious it wasn’t going to hold — it was leaking faster than I could fill it. I did the first thing I thought to do: I called my dad.

“My tire’s not holding air,” I said as soon as he answered.

“What?” he asked, apparently not understanding the statement (sorry Dad, I had to).

“The rear right tire,” I repeated, “is not holding air. I’m at One Stop.”

Also at the gas station at the time were about 15 bikers who looked to be about middle-aged. As I was telling my dad the situation, one of the bikers who overheard my conversation walked over to my car and started inspecting the tire, hearing the hiss of the air escaping the tube. 

“Well, what do you want me to do about it?” I could hear my dad saying through the phone. “Do you need me to come up there?”

Then the man asked if I needed to go far, and I told him that I lived in town.

“No, it looks like someone’s helping me,” I replied. “I’ll call you back.”

The man kept inspecting the tire; he put some air in and watched it go flat again, and it was obvious he was trying to pinpoint the leak. He asked me to move my car forward a little bit, so I did, and he found it.

“Do they sell tire plug kits here?” he asked me, his hand on the hole in the tire. 

I looked at him, bewildered. This stranger, who I’ve never met in my life, was going to help me plug the tire on my car?

“Um, I don’t know,” I said. “I’ll go check.”

It turned out they did indeed sell them there, and I bought one. At this point there were a few more men around my car, looking at the tire and chatting casually. I gave the kit to the guy who was originally helping me, and after two tries (it was a “crappy kit,” in his words), it finally held.

“Well, looks like you should be good to go,” he said. “At least until you get home.”

I thanked him over and over, not really sure how to react. He told me it wasn’t a problem; they weren’t going to just leave me stranded there. And as the group went on their way, they all waved at me and smiled.

I realized as I was driving home that I never got the man’s name, but what he did was probably the nicest thing anyone’s ever done for me. It gives me faith in the human race: we’re not all so bad after all. It makes me so happy to know that there are still people willing to go out of their way to help someone in need, especially since he had no obligation to help me at all. He did it purely out of the kindness of his heart.

So, if any of you readers are the guy on the motorcycle who helped me plug my tire, I want to say thank you. You may not have thought it was a big deal, but it was to me. And I think everyone can learn a lesson from this: if you take the time to do something nice for someone, it usually means a lot more to them than you may think. Remember to think of others before yourself sometimes; after all, isn’t the Golden Rule, “Treat others how you want to be treated?” I try my best to live by that, and I think some other people should really consider it, too.

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