Metaphors of Change
BE THE RIPPLE: A SIMPLE ACT OF KINDNESS
Hmmm, I wonder how many people passed by that pair of sunglasses lying on the sidewalk and simply didnâ€™t see them. An even more telling question: How many people saw them and choose to simply walk on by without picking them up?
It was a Friday evening around 6:00. I was on my way into a movie theatre when I saw the sunglasses lying on the sidewalk just below the steps leading to the entrance. They looked to be designer sunglasses and therefore rather expensive.
Normally, in this situation, I would pick up the item, take it inside and give it a to a staff person for the lost and found. On this particular day, I am somewhat chagrined to admit, I did not do so. The imp of the perverse nudged me and said: Leave them and see if theyâ€™re still there when you come out.
A couple of hours later I emerged from the theatre having forgotten about that moment. But the sunglasses were still there and now they were broken in half.
This particular theatre complex has 15 separate theatres. I quickly did the math. A conservative estimate of the people coming and going in that time span is 750. I have to think that at least one quarter of them saw the sunglasses. Yet no one picked them up. At least one person was so wrapped up in themselves that he or she stepped on the sunglasses, broke them and kept right on going.
It is disconcerting, to say the least, that so many people could not be bothered to perform such a simple act of kindness for an unseen stranger. It required the minimal effort of bending down, scooping up the item and taking it with you to the place you were going to anyway. Yet no one did.
It seems we (the collective â€œweâ€) have become so wrapped up in our selves that we have donâ€™t see beyond the narrow field of vision that immediately concerns our own welfare.
Yes, in the grand scheme of things, one pair of lost sunglasses is insignificant. But through the lens of metaphor, this incident speaks all too clearly of the way we can become immune to the many needs of those around us.
In retrospect, I wish I had shaken off the imp of the perverse and picked up those sunglasses. Iâ€™m trying to repay the debt by this gentle reminder that a simple act of kindness can be the ripple in the pond that starts a wave of compassion.
Take a moment. Be that ripple. Iâ€™m betting it will come back to you at a time when youâ€™re the one in need.
~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of â€œUntil the Deep Water Stills â€“ An Internet-enhanced Novelâ€ â€“ double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michaelâ€™s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.
~ Follow Michaelâ€™s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm regularly at this site. Categories: Shifting Winds, Sudden Light, Deep Dive, Songs of Nature, Random Acts of Metaphor. Originating at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2.
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