Be Like Mike

September, 2020


The Joy of Caring in a Time of Need

Imagine driving down a highway on a blue sky afternoon and all of a sudden, you see a big brown cloud ahead of you. Not sure if it is a fire, you slow your vehicle in case there is danger ahead.

As you get closer, you discover that a car has flipped over and is lying in the meridian. There is no sign of a fire. And there is no emergency response team on the premises yet. It becomes clear this accident has just happened. What do you do?

Here is what a Good Samaritan by the name of Mike did:

He pulled his car over to the side of the road and went toward the overturned vehicle.

He quickly discovered there were people in the car, and along with another Good Samaritan who also stopped to assist, helped four people get out of the car to safety.

One of the passengers seemed particularly dazed so Mike went and asked another driver who had come to a stop if they had any water. Success. The bottle of water was given to the stunned passenger, and emergency response helpers arrived soon thereafter.

I’m glad this story had a happy ending. Perhaps a car was totaled, and four humans were traumatized by a frightening accident, but they got help quickly, and no one perished.

Those four passengers may never get a chance to thank Mike and the other Good Samaritan who provided assistance in a scene of distress. It doesn’t matter: Good Samaritans don’t necessarily do their good deeds out of a desire for reward.

“So, in all that you do in all of your life, I wish you the strength and the grace

to make those choices which will allow you and your neighbor to become

the best of whoever you are."

~ Fred Rogers (Mister Rogers), Commencement Address at Dartmouth, 2002

The split-second choices that Good Samaritans make can have a profound impact on another person’s life. This brings joy not just to those who are cared for, but also to those who give of themselves in a stressful or perilous situation.

That’s plenty to celebrate but there’s more. Let me tell you what Mike didn’t do:

He didn’t check the color of those four passengers’ skin before taking action.

He didn’t try to assess their socio-economic status or sexual preferences.

He didn’t quiz them on their religious views to discern whether he was aligned.

He didn’t ask them who they were voting for in November.

If he had any judgments whatsoever, he didn’t let them stop him.

He just acted. He valued human life above all.

This fact brings me not just joy, but hope. I hope it brings you joy as well.

So, be like this Mike and you’ll no doubt be cultivating and spreading joy, too.

Thank you, Mike. I appreciate what you didn’t do as much as what you did!


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Prompts For Joy


Click here because “Everybody Dance Now!”


Click here to get a contagious high and to appreciate an adoring Mom.


Big shout-out to Michael Sally for sending these joyful gems (and many others) my way so often. You're the best!


Click here for all previous Prompts for Joy.


Pictured Above


Top: Why I Walk Every Morning - Palo Alto, CA. Photo by Martha Clark Scala


Assembling a Life: Claiming the Artist in My Father (and Myself) by Martha Clark Scala


"A remarkable book that honors the author’s father the way only a loving daughter could, shows the methods she used to research his enigmatic history, and beautifully displays photos of their art. "

~ Robert Davis, Author of The Ticker,

Will to Kill and more.


Sample page from Chapter 19. This memoir is loaded with color photos (and some black and white) on just about every page. A visual feast.


To purchase the premium softcover or e-book versions of Assembling a Life, click here.



Why Assemble a Life? An Interview with Author and Artist, Martha Clark Scala


What motivated me to write Assembling a Life: Claiming the Artist in My Father (and Myself)? Check out this video to find out. Comments and feedback welcome!


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