This I Believe

Louis - pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Entered on April 21, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe in the kindness of strangers. In time of need I was very surprised to realize how powerful help from someone I have never met before can be. I learned to believe this on a trip from State College to Philadelphia.

It was a very rainy night, around 5pm and I was driving my girlfriend home for her grandmother’s funeral. The trip would usually takes around three hours and we had to make it by around 8pm to have dinner with her family.

I am about 30 minutes on the road and there is a massive traffic backup and I decide to turn around. While turning around I go a little off the side of the road and my left front tire becomes stuck in a ditch. This ditch has water running down it from the rain, covered in mud; it is going to be very difficult to get out.

I put my jacket on, place the car in neutral, and jump out of my car to try to push it out. The rain now is really coming down. A trucker, in the traffic backup, jumps out of his car and helps me push to no avail. He stays trying to help me in the rain. As traffic moves along slowly another man pulls his car over and tries to help me. Still the three of us can not get the tire out of this ditch. Finally a third man pulls over with a big truck and has chains for a trailer hitch. The two other men help the third man attach the chains to my car so it can be pulled out. Within a half and hour of being hopeless, stranded and stuck in a near impossible situation I was saved by the kindness of strangers.

This display of kindness had me in awe. It was raining early in the evening and I could not believe that many people would stop and try to help someone they don’t know out of a difficult situation. I would never have been able to appreciate kindness if I had not experienced it like this firsthand.

I believe in the kindness of strangers. Three men tried and successful helped me out of a ditch in a rainstorm. This makes me think of all the times that I have passed someone on the side of the road that needed help. I can only hope that those who read this will help others in need because we all can depend on upon the kindness of strangers.