An Anonymous Stranger Gives A Helping Hand

Have you ever interrupted your plans and stopped to help a stranger you might never see again? Have you chosen to be inconvenienced to help with something that might not even affect you?

In an election year, late winter and early spring bring the appearance of campaign signs along roadsides the way sporting events bring tailgaters to parking lots. In the Valley of the Sun, summer temperatures and winds make maintaining these signs difficult. Friday, June 22, 2012 was another one of those hot days. The temperature in Mesa was 109 degrees and the intersection of Southern Extension was not a shady, pleasant spot to leave the comfort of an air-conditioned vehicle.

As he was driving by, Dr. Lee Fairbanks noticed a large campaign sign had pulled loose from its wires and was hanging halfway down. He thought that soon it might come completely loose from the remaining post. Maybe it would fall onto the sidewalk, creating a problem for walkers. If the large sign fell into the street, it would be a road hazard for cars.

Dr. Fairbanks stopped and parked in the nearby lot to see if he could secure the dangling sign to its posts. He had no shovel in his car to reset one of the posts, so he hoped to fasten the wires with pliers and pound in the post with a hammer. It was tough work and as time passed, he was not having much success bringing the heavy sign closer to the second post. Suddenly, things seem to get easier.

Dr. Fairbanks recalls, “I looked up through the heat and dust to see a helping hand on the post that was towering above me, pulling it toward the sign. With my helper and I pulling together, despite having no shovel to reset the bent-over post, we were able to combine our individual strengths, uplift the sign and get the thing wired safely.”

Dr. Fairbanks did not get a chance to ask the helpful stranger’s name and thank him. When the job was done, the man who had stopped his truck when he saw someone in need of a helping hand immediately jumped back in his truck and went on his way.

  1. Was the anonymous stranger the only person showing Golden Rule behavior in this incident? Explain.
  2. We do not know if Dr. Fairbanks and the anonymous helping hand were in favor of this candidate or opposed to him or her. In either case, how does their repair of the sign reflect treating others the way you would want to be treated?