If You Step Over It, Somebody Will Step In It

Good morning! I hope your day is starting off just right.

It’s Hump Day, and that means the week is half-over. I have to admit, I’m a little proud of the fact that in 10 straight weeks of not having a day job, I’ve never once forgotten what day it was. Funny, when I was working that happened a lot. Most weeks, Thursday came at least twice, along with the disappointment that it was only Tuesday.

Mom always used to say, “Stop wishing your life away.” That was usually in response to my anticipation of attaining a certain age where life would magically be wonderful and all the problems of being six would somehow disappear. “I can’t wait till I’m old enough to drive!” Remember that? Yeah. Turns out Mom was pretty excited about that as well.

With all those new freedoms come new responsibilities. In layman’s terms, additional chores. I still had to clean the carport every time it got messy. Only now, I had to go to the store to buy trash bags. “And since you’re going there anyway …” For a month or two, that was fun. After a while, I began to realize I’d been played. We all were. It’s just part of growing up.

That’s why I wasn’t very patient when one of my daughters would complain about having to help around the house. “I only used one plate! Why do I have to clean them all? And I didn’t leave that dust on the kitchen cabinets!” I’m pretty sure we all handled those objections the same way, with an air of compassion and respect. “Because I said so, that’s why!”

With each trip around the sun, we become more and more aware of the fact that we all share this planet together. And since there aren’t enough houses to go around, some of us have to share those as well. As a family, we all contribute somewhat to the mess. So, it only seems fair that the youngest has to clean it up. That gives them the motivation to graduate and move on.

Okay, I’m having a little fun here. As members of a household, we should all contribute to making our house a home. That means cleaning up after other people, cooking meals we don’t plan to eat, and washing dishes we didn’t use. It also means allowing others to voice an opinion and showing them the same respect we so fervently demand. Just like the Golden Rule says.

The same is true once we step outside the front door. On the job, we’re often asked to clean up messes we didn’t create. We do things knowing the boss will get most of the credit, unless it blows up in their face, in which case we’ll catch the blame. That’s just part of life. But it’s not about glory or blame. It’s about getting the job done and making life better for everyone.

It’s been said that it takes a village to raise a child. And, having started life in a small town, I can attest to that. If you dared to wander on the wrong side of the tracks (literally), you can bet somebody would see you and pick up the phone. “Aren’t you Mary Glardon’s boy? I wonder if she knows what you’re doing!” If I had a dime for every time I heard that.

When I was about six, Dad was out of town for a couple of weeks and my uncle brought a pistol to the house for our protection. Mom wanted no part of it. Not realizing it was a real gun, I picked it up and shot a hole in the wall. Dad found out about it before he even got home. As he stopped into the bank to make a deposit, the teller commented, “I hear that boy of yours is a crack shot!”

Okay, that was nothing but small-town gossip with no beneficial intent. But there were other times when people sensed trouble and stepped in to help. Like when Ricky Brace decided to pound me after we got off the school bus. A man I’d never met stepped through the crowd and pulled us apart. My face was black and blue for a month. I never got to thank that man.

Every day, we’re surrounded by messes we didn’t create. Some are more serious than others, but none of them will get any better until somebody steps in to help. It could be as simple as straightening the door mat at a store entrance to keep an elderly shopper from tripping over it. And it could be as life-changing as pulling somebody from a burning home. You just never know.

Yes, it takes a village to raise a child. It takes a family to make a home, it takes employees to run a business, and it takes all of society to build a nation. We all contribute in one way or another. The question is, will we pitch in, or wait for somebody else to do it for us?

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

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