Earth Angel

I live on a well-traveled road in my town that sees its fair share of traffic. And its fair share of abuse from people passing through without a thought as to what – accidentally or otherwise – falls from their open windows. It’s the price I pay for living exactly where I do in a house I love with neighbors I love in a town that I mostly love.

A woman walked past my house this morning and picked up a piece of trash on her way by and used our trash bin that had been put at the curb for trash day to dispose of it. As she walked on, I saw her pick up another few pieces of trash and carry them out of my view. And she continued on her morning walk. I can only surmise that she does this on trash day. Picks up trash in the neighborhood as she does her daily walk and uses the neighbors trash cans along her way to take care of business. Easy to accomplish a little good for the community and it doesn’t take anything away from her regular routine.

I spend a lot of time worrying about the kind of citizens I am raising. Are they responsible? Are they kind? Are they grateful? Are they engaged? Are they proactive? And I guess I spend a lot of time looking for grand examples of their good citizenship. Did they take on a chore without me asking? Did they sit with the lonely kid at lunch? Did they thank their friend’s parent who offered them a ride home? Did they pull their weight and maybe even someone else’s in a class project? But this morning I was struck in that it doesn’t take grand examples. This woman I was watching had no idea I happened to be out on my porch the seconds she walked by and noticed what she was up to. She never looked up to see if anyone saw. She did it all with a practiced hand like she had done it before or at the very least thought about it before. She was taking care of me without knowing me.

There are a thousand ways to make your day more meaningful and most of them would not have to mean any sort of inconvenience or cost on anyone’s part. Noticing the angels all around me every day is great inspiration to be one myself. I hope when I am leading by example to my own kids about how to contribute I am able to keep my mouth shut about what a good person I am being. I hope I don’t feel the need to. It’s a far more powerful example.

Thank you, Lady for being that example for me.

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