The other day, as I was driving to work, I came upon an elderly gentleman trying to push his car out of the middle of the street.  My sometimes inconvenient desire to help others kicked into place as I pulled my huge van over to the side of the road, slithered out of the driver’s seat, plopped to the ground, and ran to assist him. He was pushing on one side holding the steering wheel, and I grabbed onto the trunk and pushed.  Knowing what I do about Newton’s Law of Motion, I knew that an object in motion continues in motion, so pushing it was not difficult. Even if I’d nudged it with my finger, it would have kept moving unless it ran into something to stop it.  What amazed me, however, was that out of the large number of cars that had stopped, and no one else got out to help.

Of course, I am sure they were transfixed in their seats, mesmerized, thinking “Look at that old man and that lovely, blonde middle-aged woman with the shapely body pushing that huge, 2000 pound car out of the road!  What an amazing sight!” Alas, I hesitate to print what I  really  thought they were thinking. If they did not remember Newton’s Law of Motion, I am sure they were annoyed at having to stop, although they might have been a little impressed that we two, slightly over the hill people were moving this car ourselves.

As his car came to a stop by the side of the road, allowing traffic to flow once again, the gentleman thanked me.  I walked over to my huge van, shimmied up into the driver’s seat, and drove away. Thank goodness I remembered good ole’ Newton from Science class, or I may not have been so eager to stop and help!




Link to my book  The Apple Tree: Raising 5 Kids With Disabilities and Remaining Sane

Link to the Readers Digest review of my book:  http://www.rd.com/recommends/what-to-read-after-a-hurricane/


Comments on: "Newton’s Theory of Moving Cars" (69)

  1. Someone once said to me, “You will always meet people twice. Be careful how you treat them the first time!” 🙂
    another law came to mind while I read this … Matthew 25:40 … thanks for sharing!!

  2. Adorable. I lol’d at your description of the lovely blond with the shapely body. Oh my gosh!

  3. I’m still laughing at your descriptions. You obviously find humor in most situations. I’ve enjoyed reading many of your stories.

    On Sat, Feb 2, 2013 at 1:37 PM, Raising 5 Kids With Disabilities and

  4. You deal with many obstacles so I’m not surprised that you know Newton’s theory! Great story!

  5. I’m not surprised you stopped to help. If I ever need a little push, I hope someone like you is around. 🙂

  6. strawberryquicksand said:

    Wow. You are like me – I always stop to help people. One time I saw a person lying prone on the side of the road so I stopped my car, got out and walked over to see if they were okay. My friend, Mark, who I was in the car with was reluctant for me to stop. However,once I walked over to the prone body and realised who it was (a really skanky, vile person who used to catch the bus I drove) I hurredly turned and walked quickly back to my car and drove away. However, this has not deterred me from stopping and offering assistance when needed.

    Kindness is hard to come by these days, so please, don’t stop being kind and helpful. The world is a better place with people like you in it. 🙂 xo

    • It’s so nice to know that others feel the same way I do!

      • strawberryquicksand said:

        Likewise! One time I saw a woman run up a gutter on the median strip and puncture her tyre. I was the only one who stopped, helped push her car aside, pumped up the tyre with my portable pump and made sure she got to the nearest tyre place to get it checked! I can’t believe how people have the whole “head in the sand” mentality.

      • Oh! I bet she was sooooooooooo happy that you helped!

  7. humor mixed with compassion and a strong gifting in “helps”…. you certainly dive in to whatever it is that moves you. Good for you.

  8. You are so sweet to do that…good for you.

  9. You are so funny!

  10. That’s an awesome recap! My son has gotten over being embarrassed when I slow down and roll down my window and yell out “do you need help? Is someone on the way?” to people and cars on the side of the road! I’ll even admit to picking up a kid on the side of the street – but, he was in his work uniform and had 5 blocks left to walk… that’s normally a big no-no, cause some safety rules have to be followed, but, I frequent where he works and recognized him. some times you just have to step outside your safety zone to help others. Huh, in my effort to relate, that was way too much about me… let’s put the focus back on you… Great Blog! Loved it!

    • I would have done the same thing. If it was raining badly, I may have done it even if I didn’t know the kid. I know…that’s baaaaaaaaad…but I can’t help believing that people are inherently good.

      • I’m the same way! I figure, if I needed help, I’d want someone like me to stop, so I try and be that someone to everyone else (as often as I can). Normally I just can’t tell everyone, cause I can’t stand the lecture that inevitably follows! lol

      • I needed help desperately one day. I was taking my 3 little kiddos and elderly mother to the zoo and the car got a flat tire in the absolute WORST spot; right on the curve of a major highway with a very slim break down lane. I was petrified we would all get killed. A man stopped to help. (He was someone I might have crossed the street to avoid, if you know what I mean.) He hurriedly assisted us to the other side of the guard rail, and proceeded to change that tire. When I tried to give him some money afterwards, he said no,he was glad to do it. He said he would hope someone would help HIS mom and brothers if they were in the same situation.
        I was so frightened…then so relieved…that it is an automatic reaction to try to help others.

      • That’s awesome! Blessings sometimes come in packages we wouldn’t expect!

  11. What a kind person you are x

  12. Hey 🙂

    We don’t have enough nice people doing good things in the world.
    Plus you know, it will eventually come back to you. 🙂

    Aaand this reminds me of a funny story. One time back in my second year of college, some guys were racing around the parking lot after classes ended. One of my classmates got too worked up I guess, and he hit another car after peeling out of college super-macho style (whatever). Well we got off to see if everything was fine etc, but all of a sudden this eccentric professor driving by stopped, rolled her window down and asked me, “Did anyone die??” to which I said, erm, no? And then she says nothing and drives away. Like what the…

  13. That made me smile. You are truly a blessing!

  14. Beautifully described and well put!

  15. I think you used other law when you stop: The Golden Law, “Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you”. Both laws are important. Good for you!

  16. Nice. What goes around comes around. Is that a law? 🙂

  17. Good for you! I’m pretty sure I know what you were thinking, too …

  18. Bless you for helping and for your great sense of humor.

  19. Hope the fellow is around if you ever have to push that van!

  20. What a great example of human kindness you displayed… Your reward is the satisfaction that did something to help another person… You should be very proud… This story definitely brought a smile to my face… 🙂 Thank You!

  21. Hello! Just wanted to let you know I’ve nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger award. You can find more details at my blog, bipolarbetty2. Thanks for creating a great blog! (And sorry about the informal mass notification, you can delete this comment if you’d like.) Have a great day!

  22. Hi, that was an interesting read 😀

  23. that could be a CARtoon. funny, but nice.

  24. HAHAHA! You crack me up! SO glad that you remembered that law and that you stopped to help an older gentleman. I’m sure everyone really WAS admiring your middle aged self! I find that it happens to me ALL the time! NOT 😉 lol

  25. You give Newton all the credit, but I suspect you stopped to help because you are kind.

  26. LOVE your description of yourself. Too cute. Also, one can only hope that others saw that you had it under control. Otherwise, yea, that’s annoying. I’m sure that man is very thankful to have had you, since no one else had stepped up. (The jerks.) Wait, no, I didn’t say that! 😉

  27. Lovely. It is so nice to see people thinking, let alone thinking, writing and helping. ❤

  28. In High School we did it as a contest in the winter months. “Who Can Pull More People Out of a Ditch?” But that was Alaska, and folks these days in the Lower 48 are too individualized, too self-oriented to notice even a shapely blonde doing something that is not self-interested, something that expresses the value of community and of common cause.
    Somewhere along the line we lost what it was that made us care about each other as much as we cared about ourselves. We’ve forgotten that this nation is a grand experiment in disagreeing amiably and of moving forward together despite our differences and not an every man for himself orgy of selfishness.
    You, for a bright and shining moment, created an ad hoc community right there in the road. Caring and love were the flag and it was a beautiful day in that community. Bless you.

    • Bless you for living in Alaska where they have to pull so many people out of ditches. I do remember here in New England during a huge winter storm, everyone helped everyone else. We stayed at the home of complete strangers because there was so much snow. I kind of imagine that’s what life must be like in Alaska.

  29. I recently saw a video taken on a cell phone in the street in China: a child was run over by a van which stopped for about 10 seconds, before leaving the scene (were iits back wheels rode over the child) and the video showed cars driving by, and people walking around the “body” lying in the road until someone darted out from the sidewalk and dragged it to safety. It left me feeling icy cold.
    So glad you stopped 🙂

    • Ugh! That sounds so awful. I know I would have jumped right in to help, and I’m sure that 90% of my readers would have also! Now, I just have to get more readers to cover more of the world!

  30. Epitome of Dolly said:

    you’re amazing and your courage is contagious!

  31. I think it is truly amazing that people like you still exist. The fear of the crazies keep folks from taking a risk. I’ve been in the man’s shoes more times that I’d like to remember and can tell, that I have never had someone even stop to ask it I needed to call someone. I have stopped and helped a few times in my life allowing God to prompt me. There are crazies in the world, but not everyone having problems are crazy. People fear the homeless or anyone that might need help that would rudely interrupt their day or agendas.

    I say kudos for what you done. I’m sure it was a great help and relief to the gentleman and a pleasure to be helped by such a lovely lady…blond and shapely or not.

  32. I love what you’re writing over here. Very inspiring.


  33. Ah…and then it would have been nice if someone like you had passed when my poor little red Panda decided to suddenly stop in the middle of the road as my gas pedal had stopped pumping gas to my…motor (?) (or whatever it does) leaving me with my heart in my throat unable to move! My road education, or at least the gesters and words to be used when someone stops in the middle of the road, puts on his/her emergency lights and just kind of sits there, was greatly enriched though, so can’t complain. 🙂 A nice read…thanks.

  34. Reblogged this on Bastet and Sekhmet and commented:
    Her’s is an example we rarely see. In fact recently I found myself in the position of the gentleman in this story, blocked car in the middle of the road…people either passed me by or honked their horns, except for a very nice lady…that does this tell me about women….

  35. True Growth Parenting said:

    Hi Linda
    Thank you for your insightful and entertaining blog. I am new to the world of blogging and I truly appreciated someone with the life experience that you have, being the very first to endorse mine.
    My day to day interactions with the children in my life pale in comparison to yours, but it is comforting to know that ‘out there’ there are other ‘ordinary’ people doing extraordinary things for those they love.
    We are all on our own life journeys but along the way we cross paths with others who make us think about what we are doing and how we do it. You are one of those people and I look forward to your future posts.
    Many thanks.

  36. So hilarious! And good for you for doing that!

  37. marcelino guerrero said:

    Good Deed done! Ah, you would be surprised by the number of ppl that would rather be stuck on the side of the road, then to let someone help them. I have offered many a day to help; “No, I already called the tow truck, etc” and it has nothing to do with my race, just all the stories of nut jobs hurting ppl from the side of the road has us many if us paranoid.

  38. ramblingsofabipolarwoman said:

    Hello! I wanted to nominate you for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award! Go to http://ramblingsofabipolarwoman.wordpress.com/2013/02/09/i-have-been-nominated-for-a-very-inspiring-blogger-award/ for rules and a list of nominees, including yourself! 🙂

    Keep writing, I really do enjoy reading what you have to say! Reading about your adventures, the struggles, the joys….they really encourage and inspire me!

  39. Thank you for recognizing that love exists every where, and using this opportunity to show it.

    With love,

  40. It’s lovely to know that there are still some real people out there. Well done you. I nominated you for an award http://takenothingforgranted.wordpress.com/2013/02/14/beautiful-blogger-award/

  41. I`ve searched online, but am still ‘uncertain’ how I think to ‘best’ describe the situation you experienced, – and the great mental and social courage you displayed – and some smartypants psychological word to describe your ‘stepping out from the group’, helping (or to even ‘trying to help’) improve that old man’s dilemma.
    Upon arrival at that scene, everyone else had developed a “herd mentality”, where they may have felt sorry for the man’s situation, but were unwilling – unable? – to ‘step out’ from the group and DO anything to help improve the old man’s situation.
    You showed surprising fortitude, in that you ‘differed’ from the “herd mentality” and stepped out, helping the man, and fixing the problem, thus changing the herd mentality.
    I’ve only recently started reading your posts, but I’m already inspired by what you do, – what you’ve done, ‘do’, and in all likelihood ‘will’ do – and seemingly inspiring mentality.

    • Thank you for your insights. I have a degree in psychology myself, and there are all kinds of terms that I defy. I would hope others would. Actually, if everyone else help out, our herd mentality would be to help, not stand by! People are capable of all kinds of behavior, and I would like to think that most often they behave in a good way. This may be delusional, but it is my reality!

      • Wow, okay, I’ll shut my mouth now. 😛 *Why is it, whenever I try to sound “smart”, I end up talking to an expert? But meh, whatever. :)*
        That is very true, that if more people were ‘proactive’ and ‘generous’, ‘beneficial’, etc., etc., the world would be a MUCH better place.
        And, the only difference between delusion and optimism is who you’re asking (point-of-view), isn’t it? 😉

  42. Awww! You couldn’t have known that this song always makes me cry because I lost my own precious brother. He was my best friend and my twin. We grew up in an unconventional way also and only had each other. LOTS of abuse, neglect and pure torture. My brother was also slow. *sigh*

    ANyway, I’ve been reading about the book you wrote and can’t wait to get it Thursday, cause that’s payday. lol I’ve always protested Kindles. I like the feel of a real book in my hands BUT I think I’m going to have to crack and get one. lol I can read on my laptop through Amazon Reader, I just can’t bring the laptop to the bathtub where I do all my extra special reading. lol Oh and I just shared about your book on FB with one of my friends who is the mother of 2 autistic boys. I hope she gets it because I think you could really help her.

    Thanks for sharing so much about what brought you here! Fascinating and inspiring 🙂

  43. Rohan 7 Things said:

    Great post, really fun and funny 🙂 It feels so satisfying to help someone, and yet we do it (as a species) so rarely. Well if anything it makes those good Samaritan moments all the more special!

    Oh and I loved your version of what everyone was thinking about you two hehe 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!


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