Observations No. 10

*** Epiphany: One meaning is a sudden realization of something perhaps ordinarily obvious to most but not to you until suddenly a light comes on in your mind. Eureka! Or maybe it was awareness of the season of Lent. This plant manager developed a habit of stopping off at the local convenience store for a quick “fix” before punching the clock at his job site. The “fix” was perfectly legal; it was a large cup of coffee along with something sugary to provide, if needed, that extra jolt of energy to get the day started off on a legitimate high. The downsides were watching the scales escalate and then there was the expen$e that over a period of time made an indention in his budget. So what to do?
Through his church and his interaction with people at his worksite, he became acutely aware of the fact that there were many he knew who were having a hard time of making ends meet or those who had befriended him without any idea of getting something in return. How, he wondered, could he personally make a difference in these situations?
It was a simple idea. He elected to forego his morning habit of spending money for his “crutch” in the morning; he would instead save the money over a period of a week’s time and use it to help someone in need or to reward as the case might be. It was not hard to find both. He learned initially that there was a worker in his plant who had fallen on hard times and so he purchased a gift card at a local business and gave it to him. Too, there was a neighbor who had helped him on several occasions but who refused any compensation. He learned that his family enjoyed a night out at a local eatery so he presented him with a gift card as a token of his appreciation with thanks.
These acts of kindness rewarded him with a sense of satisfaction by his helping or honoring someone plus making a difference … in his waist line. Sometimes we perceive problems of need to be so great that we believe our puny efforts will not make any difference. That’s where you might err. To solve any such problem, you begin small; start by solving the most obvious problem: You!
*** The brain controls our actions and as importantly, is a store house for our memories. We wonder at times just how our memories are selected for our later recall when obviously there are countless memories that are not recalled.
The speaker now in his 80s, recalled a time when he was in the seventh grade at Lake View. He lived in the country that was served by two school bus routes, one for Bermuda and the other for Hayes Town. On this particular morning as children waited the big yellow vehicle pulled up and stopped for its passengers. But one observant boy noticed something that didn’t seem just right to him. The exposed somewhat ornate radiator cap was turned parallel to the road rather than to its proper position, parallel to the bus’s windshield and when he boarded the bus, he reported his observation to the friendly driver.
He was surprised at the answer he was given. The extension on top of the radiator cap, he said perhaps jokingly, was turned to that position deliberately because it helped him to aim the bus to the center of the road. To a boy, it made perfect sense. After 75 years, the memory is still fresh in his mind awaiting the recall button.
Bill Lee
PO Box 128
Hamer, SC 29547

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