I had to share this story about something I witnessed while driving onto the beach a few weeks ago. It was early morning when I headed out to Assateague and I was excited to get some lines in the water. I pulled up to the drive-on access and started letting the air out of my tires. I looked up to see four young black people stuck in the sand right in front of the drive-on access bar. They were 25 ft. in and stuck up to the frame.
My first thought was, “what a bunch of idiots. How did they think they were going to drive out onto the beach with a front wheel drive car!” I then heard a couple of comments about their color and that was probably the reason why they were stuck. The guy in front of me mentioned it and the guy behind me said something similar. I then watched the game warden struggling with the idea of whether he should help them or not. I believe it is park policy to just issue a ticket and let them call a tow truck. The thing that really blew my mind was the amount of trucks that just drove around them without even thinking of helping. They would much rather laugh, point fingers and take some pictures for their Facebook page. It really saddened me to see how insensitive humans being have become. I finished airing out my tires and started to drive onto the beach.
I pulled in front of them and got out to help. We’ve all done stupid things in our lives and I can guarantee you most of us have been stuck in something at one time or another. I assessed the situation and started shoveling the one side out. I told them that if we got the sand out from under the frame we could all get behind and push it out.
I finished the one side and gave the shovel to one of the guys. I told him I wasn’t going to shovel it all out. If he wanted to get out, he’d have to put a little effort into making it happen. He willingly took the shovel and began shoveling. I asked him why he was going out on the beach that day. He said he just wanted to see the ocean for his birthday. I thought that was cool, but at the same time I was saddened by what I had just witnessed just ten minutes before. After we got both sides shoveled out, the game warden helped us out with a couple boards to put under the tires. I said, “O.k. boys, let’s grab the car like men and push this baby out!” The girl took the wheel and we all pushed with everything we had. It eased its way out and they were free to enjoy the rest of their day. As I was getting back into my truck one of the guys, the “birthday boy,” called out to me and with the kindest smile said, “thanks brother.”
I touched my heart as I realized that we’re are all human beings that need help once in a while. As I was driving away it dawned on me that much of what is truly wrong with the world had just presented itself in this scenario right before me. First, you had the unprepared bunch of people who didn’t do any research on how they should and could get onto the beach. Second, was the display of racism that had nothing to do with why they were stuck. I’ve seen white people do the same nonsense more than I can count. Third, you had the game warden who was reluctant to help because of some stupid, bureaucratic regulation preventing him from doing so. Fourth, was the uncompassionate losers taking pictures for Facebook when they should be trying to help.
I don’t consider myself a saint, but when you reach out to help people in need, all the stupidity
in the world goes away for a short time and the barriers that keeps us at odds seem to crumble just a little. All I know is when I started to help, everyone started to help and we got the job done. I believe we all walked away from that experience with a well learned lesson. The only ones that didn’t learn anything were the ones that didn’t care to help. I feel sorry for them because they will never know the lift you get in your soul when you reach out to help another human being in need. The next time you see someone in need of help don’t hesitate. It’s a gift from God and a habit you’ll embrace for the rest of your life. I didn’t catch anything that day but that situation certainly caught me. 🙂 So many lessons to be learned so get off your phones/couch and make a difference. We’re are all in this together. “BUNKER UP!”