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Showing posts with label helping. Show all posts
Showing posts with label helping. Show all posts

Monday, August 23, 2021


Making a difference

Sometimes it feels like we aren’t doing enough. So many people can use some help, you do what you can, but it never feels like it’s making a difference.

I walk my dogs every morning on the property. I live in the foothills and my property is dotted with pines and oak trees. I do several laps as my property isn’t all that big, but I do have a small creek and an irrigation canal and it does make for a lovely and peaceful walk.

This morning my mind wandered, (I call this a walking meditation) and I recalled an incident from my childhood. I grew up in the 60s .. yes a very long time ago!  I lived in a neighborhood and it was considered a nice upper middle class area. Of course at 10 years old I had no concept of those things. It was an area that us kids roamed freely, going from house to house to see if anyone could “play”. We didn’t have playdates back then, you just looked for bicycles in a front yard or listened to playing in the back. We had a large orchard to one side and we actually walked to school.

I happened to be wandering around and noticed a car I hadn’t seen before, it was old and a little rusty. My neighborhood wasn’t a place you drove through to get somewhere else, it was all winding streets and cul-de-sacs.  So an odd car would catch your attention. I had seen it driving around for a couple days and never saw it pull into a driveway. One afternoon I saw it parked in a cul-de-sac, and one of the little neighbor girls was talking to the person in the car. I was about 3 houses away and saw the door open. I remember I had a gut punch of panic when I yelled to the little girl of about 5 years old to RUN!  And she did, she took off like a flash and the car sped away, right past me. I wasn’t smart enough to get a license plate and I didn’t even look at the driver, I was running to make sure the little girl (I think her name was Shelly) was okay. She was frightened, but alright. We just sat on the lawn for a bit and talked, then she went inside.

You know, I don’t even think I told my mom. I didn’t really understand the concept of child predators at the time. I just had a feeling she was in great danger. I have no idea why I thought of that this morning. It was an odd vague memory I hadn’t pulled up in years. But as I was pondering that day, I thought about how much different that little girl’s life would be if I hadn’t yelled out. Something so simple, so basic, but made a difference, an impact I have no concept of reconciling.

I am not sharing this to get a pat on the back, heck, I was 10 years old. I am sharing this to remind us all that everything we do has a ripple effect. The simplest smile, the littlest complement, can change a person’s day. 

It is a good idea to pay attention to your surroundings, to help watch out for other’s children in public. Sometimes it takes a village. Sometimes it takes a young girl screaming one word. But all the time it takes sharing, caring and love.