Saturday, February 18, 2017

“Doing the right thing isn't always easy - in fact, sometimes it's really hard - but just remember that doing the right thing is always right.” — David Cottrell



            I couldn’t believe this news story when I saw it which was right after I had written yesterday’s blog about a Ferrari and a brick.  I knew when I wrote that story that the man involved was a rich Wall Street banker.  I don’t know anything about the man in this news story, Manfred Kick, other than what I read in several news articles, but the main story is a powerful one.
            On Wednesday of this week, 15 February 2017, a very special event occurred.  Manfred Kick (age 41) was driving down the Autobahn in his new Tesla Model S, just outside of Munich, Germany, when he saw a Volkswagen Passat swerving dangerously across the road. Herr Kick said, “I saw a car driving slowly in the left lane without using an emergency blinker…The driver had tipped forward and hung motionless in the belt. The head and hands hung limply down. I had to stop his car somehow, otherwise it would have continued indefinitely. And it was clear that the driver needed urgent help.”  Even though a Tesla Model S costs over $75,000, Herr Kick didn’t hesitate to sacrifice it in order to do the right thing and save the man’s life.  Kick called the police to report the incident, but he knew he didn’t have much time — so he took a big risk: he pulled his Model S directly in front of the Passat, hoping to bring the other car to a halt.  Manfred pulled his Tesla in front of the Volkswagen and slowed until they bumped hard and then braked until both of the cars came to a halt, hearing the damage to both cars as it happened.  But he wasn’t through helping.  He then went into the Volkswagen and performed first aid on the unconscious driver while passersby called emergency services.  When emergency medical technicians arrived, they took the unconscious driver to a hospital in Munich.  Officials said that though the man had reportedly suffered a stroke of some kind, he is currently in stable condition.  Manfred was then stuck with over $10,000 in repair costs, but said, “I do not know if the insurance pays.  The most important thing is that the man is all right again.”  When Elon Musk, the billionaire CEO of Tesla learned of this, he Tweeted,  “Congrats to the Tesla owner who sacrificed damage to his own car to bring a car with an unconscious driver safely to a stop!” Musk wrote on Twitter. “In appreciation, Tesla is providing all repair costs free of charge and expedited.”  (The Tesla is the car in the forefront of the picture at the right with the Volkswagen right behind it.)
               The most important sentence in this whole story is not what billionaire Musk tweeted (he’s not the hero of the story, after all he is a billionaire), no, it is what the man who risked his life and damaged his car in process had to say after it was all over.  He was not concerned about the risk to his life or the cost of the repairs.  Instead what Herr Kick said was that “The most important thing is that the man is all right again.”  Life is not about the cost of your possessions or the inconvenience that your good acts might cause, it is about doing the right thing when the right thing is obvious.  God bless you, Manfred Kick.  You make us all proud.
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