Tuesday, November 29, 2016

What I Learned By Not Helping A Neighbor...

The first e-mail was sent around 1:30pm last Saturday afternoon.

It came while I was right in the middle of the most productive writing day I've ever had. The e-mail let those of us in the neighborhood (ward) know that someone not of our congregation was moving and needed help with their piano. Just so you know, when people think of choosing people to help move large and heavy objects, I'm usually not the first person that comes to mind.

But if there are several of guys my size, we can get things done. I saw the e-mail and decided to go. I wasn't sure just how much help I could be, but taking a break during a marathon day of writing can be a good thing.

Then the second e-mail came. And I thought I'd better get going.

"Where are you going, dad?" the kids asked as I got my gloves and headed out the door. "Just going to help someone move." Helping someone move is a pretty common thing in our neighborhood (ward). We have several apartments in our boundaries and a group of relatively healthy men in their twenties, thirties, and some in their forties can do a lot of service for those in need.

I pulled up to a stop sign and saw a moving truck a few blocks away. After the road was clear I drove on and pulled up to the truck just as three or four healthy guys in their twenties, thirties, and possibly forties pushed a piano up the ramp and safely into the truck. They literally rolled it into the truck as I drove past.

I laughed--if I had only been a few minutes earlier, I could have helped, just a few minutes earlier. Without getting out, I turned my car around and headed home. As I drove away, I saw another neighbor drive past. I knew where he was going and I knew he'd realize the same thing I did. He was late, too. As I drove away, I kept watching in my rearview mirror. I expected my neighbor to do exactly what I did, turn his car around and head home.

But he didn't.

He parked his car and got out. He walked over to see if they needed any help moving. I pulled my car over and kept watching. Apparently, they did need help because he didn't get back in his car for several minutes.

I easily could have gotten out of my car and helped. What affected me most is I didn't even consider doing what my neighbor did. It never crossed my mind. By Saturday night I wrote almost 8000 words. I completed my November writing goal four days early. I'd like to think I didn't consider helping them move after the piano was in the truck because of how important my writing goal was. The goal could have waited, for a few minutes at least. Hopefully next time I'll make different decisions.

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