Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
- Leo Buscaglia

Monday, March 26, 2012

As the Wind Blows

     Today was a windy March day - the kind of day when people's empty garbage cans blow all over the street.  As I was driving to an appointment through a neighboring town this afternoon, I noticed one such garbage can in the middle of the road on the opposite side of the street.  A made a mental note to myself that if it was still there on my return trip, I would stop and move it to a more secure location before it causes an accident.
     Sure enough, when I was returning (just 15 minutes later), the can was still rolling around in the street and cars were swerving to avoid hitting it.  I pulled over to the curb, parked, and went to retrieve the wandering garbage can.  Then I placed it on the sidewalk between two poles where it would be secure despite the wind.
     It's interesting.  This is the kind of thing that most people (including me) would typically assume that someone else (perhaps the proverbial "they"?) will/should take care of.  And yet, we are all the "they" in this instance.  There is no officially designated "garbage can picker upper" whose job it is to take care of these things.  It's only you and me.
     It reminds me of high school class reunions.  I've worked with a team of local people to plan and organize most of our high school reunions, and I've enjoyed doing it.  What always surprises me though, is when I hear people from other classes complaining about the fact that "they" (their classmates, their class officers, the school?) didn't put together a reunion; as if this were someone's official job as opposed to simply the result of a few friends deciding to organize themselves into an ad hoc reunion committee.
     It occurs to me that there are many things in life that fit into this same category - things we can assume other people should take care of.  I'm trying to be better about noticing my own tendency to fall into this trap and instead, step up and take action.

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