This incredible story is about the power of giving over receiving. The line goes something like, “It is better to give than to receive.” When both happens in less than 6 hours, it becomes life changing.
David might not be this young man’s name because what happened this week blew my mind and with it, my memory of his exact name. Let’s start with what I abundantly received this day.
David Throws His Rock
I was driving from Jackson, Mississippi to Folsom, Louisiana on a beautiful summer’s morning. The Tesla was running smoothly with the traffic aware cruise control and self steering guiding me safely through a construction area. I sat behind a semi truck when BANG!, a golf ball size rock hit the windshield. While the Tesla has just under 50,000 miles, this windshield was only 1 week old replaced from another rock strike last month. The damage was a circle about the size of a quarter (3 cm or 1 inch in diameter – see the cover photo of the repaired damage).
This may have been David’s rock from his sling shot to Goliath’s Tesla but at this point I had no connection. I just was upset. Mad! Pissed! Then I breathed and gave thanks for the protection the glass had given me and let it all go. Then I called Melissa and told her about it. She suggested that I get it repaired while I was at the farm over the next 5 hours. “Brilliant!” I told her, but then completely forgot about it.
Three hours had passed working on the horses when I suddenly said to the barn owner that I had forgotten to call a glass repair shop. “No problem,” she said. “My next door neighbor owns the A-1 glass repair shop in Covington, LA. Let me call him. He did not have a technician who could get to the farm then but if I drove 20 minutes to his shop he could have it repaired in 10 minutes. I needed a break from the 95 degree heat so off I went.
As I approached the shop I suddenly realized that I would not have enough energy in my batteries to get to my final destination of the Supercharger in Slidel, LA with this additional 52 miles. Oh oh!. No juice, no go.
I pulled up to the shop and a man with a gruff voice greeted me with only, “Are you the vet?” He directed me to an open bay where the technician dropped what he was doing and immediately went to work on the damage. With a high chance of repair failure, he succeeded successfully in repairing the huge defect. As he cleaned up the glass, I said I would go inside to settle up. Both he and the other man in the shop waved their hands and said “Nothing to settle! The boss said he would cover the repair.”
I stood in disbelief, but this shop owner is a good neighbor to the farm I was working at this day. It is a non-profit farm serving people with emotional conditions that the horses help them to heal. It was this man’s contribution to her farm. I was so touched and generously tipped the man who worked on my car.
Returning to the farm, I looked for an electrical outlet where I added 6 miles to my range over the next 2 hours. It wasn’t much but this small addition would give me an end milage of 9 miles at the charging station – very close.
At the end of my farm visit, Mr Donny Bush from the local feed mill came by to visit me. He has put together a protein supplement made of shredded alfalfa and soybean meal pellets that he calls “Doc T’s Magic Mix.” He now sells about 70 tons of this per month shipping a pallet of it as far as Virginia. He was very skeptical when he was first asked to mix this combination but now he is an absolute believer with story after story of horse owners seeing the difference of adding good quality protein to their horse’s diet. His being there could not have happened without my diversion to the glass shop and the added time on the farm.
Summing up here
I have a non-profit horse farm over 1500 miles from my home who appreciates me and what I do for her horses. I have a neighbor of this farm who appreciates me and gifted me his service of a windshield repair. I have a feed dealer who appreciates me and left his work to come out to see me and thank me for his new and unique product that is helping so many horses. I also had a 13 year old girl who watched me at the farm all day appreciating all I had to teach her. She was a sponge. Then her mother showed up and listened some more and then thanked me publicly with a grateful comment on my blog that evening. I was filled with a boat-load of kudos and overwhelmed with the gifts of thankfulness from many people. Yet I had no idea what was to happen next.
I drove with my air conditioning off and windows rolled down to conserve energy and drove the 54 miles to the Tesla Superchargers at the large mall in Slidel. My efforts paid off as I pulled in with 14 miles to spare. I plugged in and took my sweaty body over to my favorite “Rock and Roll Sushi” restaurant filled with music and posters of rock and roll icons. Even the sushi rolls had rock and roll names. I ate and did my paperwork.
The owner of the restaurant recognized me (how many guys go there wearing a cowboy hat?) and brought with her such a pleasant, honest and happy energy that I just felt so blessed. What a great day and what a great way to end it. Only another 2 hours of driving to Mobile, Alabama and the cloud I was floating on, this trip would pass quickly. I paid my bill and walked out the door only to find David.
David (I think)
“Excuse me. My name is David and my Mom bet me that I wouldn’t come out here and talk to you. I’m 17 years old and I have a congenital heart defect. Did I hear you say you have a Tesla?”
I blinked a few times as his words swirled in my confused mind. I said some things trying unsuccessfully not to be rude. He continued, “I love cars and especially the Tesla. The computer chip in my heart that keeps it beating is made by Tesla so I REALLY love Tesla.”
I’m not sure if my jaw was dropped. He then said that one of his wishes in life is to ride in a Tesla and if I would be the one to give him this experience around this mall. For some reason, my doubts about this kid’s sincerity suddenly melted away. I had been given so much by so many today yet without any answers to my questions of doubt (where were the parents, is this a scam, should I be defensive, etc) we started to walked out to my car. As I cleared away my work material from the passenger seat to make room for David, he continued to tell me about his Make-A-Wish letter to drive a Lambourghuini which had not happened. He’s only 17.
We sat in our seats and I showed him the neat stuff including turning the navigation system into a Mars rover moving on the Mars landscape and turning the the suspension vehicle icon into a submersible vehicle. I told him about “More Cowbells” and the Christmas jingle but did not play them. I then kicked it into drive and started about the large mall’s race course of a perimeter drive with twists and turns and some nice straight aways. I warned him and then punched the accelerator. He was impressed but I was not. Something was off.
We then auto-steered around the S turns where the car deftly took the curves all on it’s own with my hands nearby to take over. Then I saw “Chill” on the dash and realized I had selected this conservative acceleration mode to conserve energy. I quickly corrected it back to “Standard” (no I don’t have the performance model’s “Ludicrous” mode). I then said, “Hold on for the real feel of a Tesla,” and after checking for traffic, I punched it with the accelerating response I was expecting. Head pressed deep into the headrest and blood draining from my face I looked to my right to see a smile from ear to ear on David’s face.
Returning to the restaurant, David told me he was on the waiting list for a heart transplant. He is missing his right ventricle but he was no longer missing his first ride in a Tesla. Mom came out to thank me from the bottom of her heart. If only they knew just how thankful I was for them.
You see, as tears well up while writing this, they have no idea what they did for me. In a day where so much was given to me, I was able to return the favor to the universe. David threw his rock into my windshield and the day proceeded altered forever from what could have been. I was so grateful I was able to give back, for giving is SO MUCH BETTER than receiving.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as your upcoming surgery challenges you more than talking to a stranger and asking for a joy ride. God bless you.