Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

FTW Moment of the Day

Who knew a Reddit thread asking the question, “Have you ever picked up a hitch-hiker?” could tug at your heartstrings so much?

One commenter kinda thread-jacked it with a story about getting stranded on the side of the road. It’s not professionally written, just a guy telling a story (with a big helping of foul language, btw.) But I thought it was a terrific read.

Considering the holiday season, the argument happening over here and the swirling controversy surrounding the “I” word — I think there’s a good message here about humanity and helping people who need it. Confession: I may have teared up a bit.

This past year I have had 3 instances of car trouble. A blow out on a freeway, a bunch of blown fuses and an out of gas situation … [E]ach of these times this s**t happened I was DISGUSTED with how people would not bother to help me. I spent hours on the side of the freeway waiting, watching roadside assistance vehicles blow past me, for AAA to show. The 4 gas stations I asked for a gas can at told me that they couldn’t loan them out “for my safety” but I could buy a really sh***y 1-gallon one with no cap for $15. It was enough, each time, to make you say s**t like “this country is going to hell in a handbasket.”

But you know who came to my rescue all three times? Immigrants. Mexican immigrants. None of them spoke a lick of the language. But one of those dudes had a profound affect on me.

Read the whole thing here … and maybe do something nice for someone today?

Responses to "FTW Moment of the Day"

Natali says:

I absolutely LOVE this. LOVE it. And it echoes my own experiences with the culture as well. Thanks for posting here.

very nice, good on you for posting

there are many instances out there like this i bet

hope this spreads

mdub420 says:

That is a great story.

I would never pick up a hitch hiker though. Call me heartless, but no way am I giving somebody I don’t know a ride. And same thing with taking in a bum off the street and inviting them in my home for dinner. Was watching a 90210 rerun on Soap TV and Brenda brings home a bum off the street. I think they did a Thanksgiving version where Brandon brought home a bum too. They cleaned up the bum and he looked like a GQ model.

And yes I would be very grateful if some stranger helped me out on the side of the road. I don’t expect help really and wouldn’t go out of my way to ask a stranger for help just because of my belief that you never know if the stranger is some crazy nut. If I wouldn’t help someone, then I don’t deserve help. Kind of a sad way of thinking but again I’m a sad person.

Heather says:

“Beverly Hills, 90210″ reference = WIN

erica says:

Thanks for sharing the story Mike. It also made me tear up like a little girl.

I think we could all easily lend someone unexpected a hand now and then. Having said that I can’t think of many situations where I would pick up someone in my car. To that same effect I think it would terrify me to also have someone stop and help. There are just too many scary stories on the news everyday and it really is too bad. For this reason only I’d like to be transported back to the 50′s.

random says:

The tone bothers me, as there is both no way to verify nor is this any kind of scientific sample. I applaud people who genuinely reach out and help another person in need. With the recent child abduction here in Fresno I can understand why some if not many choose to not stop.

As a single white old guy I don’t feel particularly threatened seeing someone on the side of the road. I will stop whenever I see someone in need when I can. I routinely purchase meals for those who ask – but I purchase the meal, I don’t hand out cash.

Kindness doesn’t have a color. Decency comes in all shapes, ages, colors and beliefs. Lets go out of our way to encourage each other, rather than building up by tearing down.

Claire L says:

I think the idea was to point out the kindness of a group of people that politicians and media like to vilify. Not to tear down other groups of people.

So often we get wrapped up in the political mumble jumble of “illegal” or “taking handouts” or whatever sort of prejudice that is created by the man behind the curtain. I think the idea was to put a human face to “these people” and sort of reflect on how that moment gave an issue even more shades of gray.

Also, paying it forward isn’t always about who has the most…. but who is in the most need. At that moment the guy at the side of the road was in the most need and the family in the van were able to help…. it’s not about the stuff… but the intent.

mdub, I wouldn’t pull over either ( I don’t trust people)…but there are other ways to pay it forward. I don’t think there is anyone who doesn’t deserve help…. OK… maybe not child molesters, I can’t see me finding kindness in that case…. but because you value your safety doesn’t make you selfish.

Natali says:

Very well said Claire, I agree whole-heartedly.