Well, I had plenty to do on Saturday morning. But sometimes in life plans change and it's just out of your control. You see, my neighbor called. Seems he had gotten his bulldozer a "little" stuck. He asked if I would bring my skid steer and help get him out. As I said earlier, I had plans for my Saturday morning. I had already made a to-do list. Nothing was really urgent, but I had plans. Lest you think this post is to pat myself on the back for a good deed, it is not. In all honesty, I didn't want to go. I didn't want to slog around in the mud for four hours risking my machine to try to rescue someone else's machine. I had a to-do list. I had plans.
In Fact, this post is just the opposite. It is to admonish myself for having those thoughts in the first place. Over breakfast, I was expressing to Julie my less than enthusiastic attitude about accepting the request to help our neighbor. I guess there may be something about saying it out loud, but suddenly my attitude seemed a little gross to me. I told Julie that if I needed anything, this neighbor would be here at the drop of a hat. I had no doubt about that. He's always been kind, he's always answered my calls, he's always looked out for my property the way a neighbor should, he's always said "let me know if I can help you", and I have always felt like he truly meant those things.
In that moment of clarity, I knew what I was doing that morning. That item was elevated to the top of my to-do list, and I was happy to be able to help. When I finished breakfast I called my neighbor and headed there in my machine. It was dirty and took four hours, but that was okay. I was not once bitter or frustrated to be there. It was a bit odd how my attitude changed after that talk with Julie. I thought about it a lot for the rest of the day, and here are a few lessons I've gleaned.
- Think through things before you accept or decline a request.
- Saying something out loud can give you a better perspective.
- Be the kind of neighbor that your neighbor would help, even when they dont really want to.
By the way, we did get the machine out of the hole just before a heavy rain set in. If you get the opportunity to help someone today, do it. It really is what we're here for.