Sunday, August 23, 2015

Beyond thought


I saw something about fifty years ago that I still remember so clearly I know I will never forget. I was taking coffee at my regular spot on the Sunset Strip when I noticed a car moving slowly down the slope leading to the Sunset-Holloway intersection and Tower Records. The driver’s face had a look of frozen terror.

Suddenly, the young executive from the car leasing company next door ran from his office, darting and dodging through the traffic of the broad thoroughfare, getting an angle on the rolling sedan. Somehow, he caught up with the car, got the driver door open and was able to bring the car to a stop before it reached the busy intersection or crumpled into the parked cars that lined the street.

I was on my feet by then, watching in amazement. Paramedics soon arrived on the scene and the young leasing agent returned to his office. I asked him what had happened and he said the old guy had some kind of attack or seizure and froze at the wheel. Seated at his window desk, some perception or instinct made him recognize that the driver was not in control, causing him to spring into action to help.

 My view of the terrified driver and his young, white-shirted rescuer is a tape that my memory replays often. I wish you could see it. I tell you about it because I know we all want to be that kind of person who sees what needs to be done and is not hesitant to do it. It is a divine impulse.

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