Thursday, February 21, 2013
I was out running this morning in the dark, cold, and wind, and as I was finishing up I saw a garbage can lying on its side in front of a house, with the lid a few feet away and with a bag of trash having fallen out in front of it. This kind of thing sometimes happens on windy days. I initially ran right past the can, eager to get done and get on some warm clothes; and to be honest, I hate having to stop my run. However, after a year of practicing kindness, I had a hard time ignoring the opportunity to take care of it. So I turned around (I was just a few steps past the garbage) and picked up the trash and put the can upright, replacing its lid. Then I went on to finish the run.
Prior to the past year I would have no doubt run past without taking the time to address the issue. After all, it wasn't my garbage, and "somebody else" will/should handle it. But I've come to see that kindness is a shared responsibility. It really doesn't matter whose job it "should" be. I saw it, so why not stop and take care of it? I suppose that's a big part of what it means to be part of a community - thinking of our world as a shared responsibility as opposed to only worrying about my stuff. A simple, but powerful thought.