Every once in a while, a chance encounter with a stranger reminds us about the good that’s out there in the world. Even famous people can experience the joy that comes from the kindness of others. That’s what happened to former Secretary of State, Gen. Colin Powell on Jan. 24 when an ordinary day took a sudden and surprising turn.
The former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff wrote on Facebook about the day, which started out with the unfortunate bang of a blown front tire on his car. He stopped along the highway and began changing the tire when another car stopped in front of him.
Anthony Maggert, a retired contracting officer in the Army, recognized Powell as he drove by, and knew he was the perfect man for the job of assisting the general with the tire and getting him quickly on his way.
The two got to talking as Maggert changed Powell’s tire, and they soon realized they were both heading to Walter Reed Medical Center for appointments. As the conversation continued, Powell was astounded to learn more about Maggert’s service history — and his kindness. Powell heard about the man’s service in Afghanistan and also about how he lost his leg during his time overseas.
After their brief encounter, the men parted ways. Powell never got Maggert’s name or contact information but did oblige him with “a selfie.”
Later that day, when Powell saw Maggert’s photo — on which he was tagged — posted on Facebook, he finally had a way to share his thanks and his thoughts on the day’s events.
“Thanks, Anthony. You touched my soul and reminded me about what this country is all about and why it is so great,” wrote Powell. “Let’s stop screaming at each other. Let’s just take care of each other. You made my day.”
Maggert, who works as a chef in the area, responded to the Facebook post with his own expression of gratitude over meeting one of the country’s top diplomats and servicemen. He also included a personal invite to make a special meal for Powell.
“Dear General Powell, we had a huge outcry of LOVE today,” Maggert replied in a Facebook comment. “It seemed as if the entire world stopped for a moment to listen to a good news story. I’m glad we shared the moment but I am more grateful that folks recognize that the human spirit of helping is not lost. Today we showed the country that all it takes is slowing down to lend a hand. When you want Chef Maddog Maggert to make you a meal of your choice let me know. I’m not sure when the last time you had good Jamaican food but I’m sure I could take your taste buds to island time.”
We love a good story of selflessness. We hope this story inspires you to pay those good vibes forward.