Small Things with Great Love — Jumpstart

by twinink on August 15, 2010

“A driver is a king on a vinyl bucket-sea throne, changing direction with the turn of a wheel, changing the climate with a flick of the button, changing music with the switch of a dial.” –Andrew H. Malcolm

So this morning I’m driving to work, singing my Stevie Wonder, rubbing the lingering gossamer strands of sleep from my eyes… and I hit TRAFFIC.  A two lane road, winding steeply up into the hills of Laurel canyon.  Zero movement on either side.  Bummer.

And as a sit there in a heat and frustration induced daze, a voice suddenly rings out across the white divide.  “Wake up!” it exclaims.  A glance over and there, no more than a foot away from me in the opposing lane of traffic sits an older, cheerful gentleman in a truck.  Plastic pipes and bulky equipment lean precariously from the back.  Must be a plumper or a pool man, I think to myself.

He smiles at me… a big friendly wolf’s grin.  Leans way out of his window, his right eyebrow winking uncontrollably.  And in a almost conspiratorial stage whisper he shouts across the void, “Life is what you make of it.”

With that, the traffic magically clears.  Both our cars drift away in opposite direction.  And I am left with this stranger’s words still ringing in my ears.  Life is what you make of it.

Such a simple truth it almost sounds cliche.  And yet when flung randomly, it takes on the power of a life preserver thrown to a drowning man.  How often do we forget that our state of mind, our attitude, and our engagement with the world is entirely in our own hands?  How basic and simultaneously profound this idea that we can shape and mold our experience in however form or pattern we most please?

I consider myself a rather strong swimmer.  My pride or stubborness might make me shun the need for any life preserver.  And yet, I can’t deny the clarity of the gesture.  This man, for no reason other than a spark of human kindness, leaned out from his self-contained window and  offered a jolt of positivity to my sputtering, slow-to-rise mind.  With just a few simple words he effectively jump-started my whole day.

And that’s all it takes.  A tiny gesture, a random act.  It’s usually the little things that matter most.   Start small.  Spread great love.

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