Think back to a time, perhaps in the not-so-distant past, when you found your day in unexpected upheaval due to what seemed like such a trivial cause—a faulty brake light, an important piece of mail that never arrived or a flat tire. Now, what if you could save someone else from that frustration?
Let me introduce Exhibit A, otherwise known as a common screw.
You see, this screw has a story. He won’t tell me all of it (secretive fellow) but I do know for certain that he ended up in a parking space at the mall a couple of days ago, just down the aisle from the bookstore I was visiting. I saw him glinting mischievously in the Arizona sun from behind an SUV.
At first, I thought to myself, “If someone dropped it, they may be back for it.” But then, as logic seeped into my vivid imagination, I realized that this screw had the potential to truly “screw up” someone’s day, namely the owner of the SUV if they backed over it and punctured a tire. So, all shiny and sunny warm, I picked him up and decided to avoid a potential roadside assistance scenario for this family.
Yes, we could get into a long discussion about causality and recognizing lessons for others (another time). For this post, I want to “point” out that we each have the power to intervene in fairly obvious disruptions and keep others from calamity. Consider these situations:
- You see a coworker with food stuck in her teeth before a big presentation
- You notice a child reaching dangerously over the edge of a shopping cart
- You catch sight of something falling from someone’s wallet
- You receive mail for someone previously at your address not labeled “or current resident”
- You see a brake light out in the car next to you at your favorite restaurant
- You watch someone holding a cutting implement or tool the wrong way
- You realize the woman leaving the bathroom has an issue with her skirt’s direction
- You notice a nail, broken glass or other sharp item near a playground
- You realize the bathroom stall is now out of toilet paper
In other words, you perceive something that (with just a small comment, tip or bend to pick it up) could save harm, hassle and headaches for others. The idea that we just say “c’est la vie” to everything and fend for ourselves is not what grace, love or humanity are about.
And yes, the person you tell may be resistant, embarrassed, rude or ignore you. Respectfully, get over it. Doing good for pats on the back is filtering your potential; do good because it’s the right thing to do and sets a worthy example.
So, what I’m asking of you is to find ways to “turn the screw” around and keep others from unnecessary pain. Who knows how many times God, a friend, a loved one or a stranger may be doing the same for you.