Wednesday, August 31, 2016
North Dakotans Friendly/Helpful... Most of the Time
North Dakota is noted for the way people help each other out when troubles arise. We often see someone giving a helping hand to someone else who needs it at the time. Later, we might see the person who needed help passing on that positive energy to someone else in need. Most North Dakotans are good examples of the "paying forward" theory.
Today, when I had a flat tire in a precarious place on the way to Jamestown, I experienced the negative energy of a different kind of North Dakotan.... someone who criticizes instead of helps in a troubling situation. This person actually stopped to tell the farmer who was helping us that we were "causing a traffic jam" ... on a road where only one other car passed in the hour that we were there.
We had managed to limp our car away from traffic onto a graveled country road off the main highway . We made one call to a friend, a farmer who immediately left a busy part of his day, to come and help us. He parked his truck beside our car and was in the process of lifting a tire, when this intruder decided to stop his vehicle and criticize us.
Although we were double-parked on this country road, while fixing our tire, there was room for cars to pass us safely on the left. A kind person in a situation like this would have offered to help out or at least make sure that we were okay. In fact, the only other driver on that country road did just that, looked to make sure we were doing okay and then waved and passed on.
This negative fellow, however, had to stop and have words with our farmer/friend who was helping. I guess what bothers me most about this incident is the fact that we know the person who acted this way. The image that he cultivates in our community is one of being a kind, thoughtful person. In this case, he was not at all kind, and did not act the way a typical North Dakotan (or any kind person) would act.
By the way, while we were on the main highway, right after our tire blew, we were surprised to hear a voice coming from the nearby railroad track. There was a railroad inspector actually driving a truck along the tracks who stopped to see if he could help us in any way. We thanked him and explained that help was already on the way. After we assured him that we were okay, he drove on down the track. That man is the sort of person that we can rely on and depend on to help out ... especially in a state like ours where you can be stuck on the side of the road in below zero weather.
Thankfully, most North Dakotans are like the railroad man and our farmer/friend - ready to give a helping hand when needed.