Tonight I set off for a Jervis Bay fishing trip. With my son Lachlan, good friend Steve, and Steve’s son Nick in the car and the boat trailing behind, we were all looking forward to the trip.
And then it happened. The trailer started to vibrate, and after pulling over we discovered the right side trailer when was about to fall off. A little investigation revealed the cause – a collapsed bearing.
Fortunately I had a spare set of bearings in the boot. Unfortunately we were parked by the side of a busy road and my car jack was barely adequate to lift the trailer wheel.
Two guys approached us, asking if we wanted help. In their mid twenties, tattooed, and with cigarettes hanging from their lips, they looked the unlikeliest help to two middle aged men.
Before we could politely decline their offer, they had parked their worktruck with its flashing lights behind us and cordoned off a work area with witches hats. Now we had a safe space to work. They then rigged up their compressor driven jack to get the trailer tyre in the air. For the next hour they assumed responsibility for getting the old bearings out and the new ones in. With the bearings replaced and the wheel back n the trailer they cleaned up the rubbish, packed up their tools and with a shake of the hand bid us farewell.
It was a generous, kind act prompted by nothing more than a desire to help a stranger in need. It left us all feeling that somehow in helping and being helped we had been truly alive, fully human.
May there be more of it.