Have you ever seen those videos on Youtube where people perform unbelievable feats? The beauty though is that there are amazing people every single day performing amazing feats of kindness that will never make it onto video. There are amazing people showing compassion that will never make the headlines, but they are out there, every single day.
Yesterday, it dawned on me that I had not received the text notification that it was time for me to change out the air filter in my house’s A/C unit. It is probably actually way overdue, so I went through the process of opening it and realized quickly it needed some tender loving care. Then, went about the process of cleaning it, and spent several hours doing so. What I neglected to do, in a rather elementary mistake, was to turn off the power and ended up shorting out the unit.
It is what it is. I am not handy. I have much to learn.
Most of life’s tasks are pretty simple, like cleaning the A/C unit, but I only know what I know. Once something goes awry, then I’ve exceeded my limited knowledge.
What were my options? I could call someone for service, although that is not in the budget. I could, and did, call my parents, which is my normal first line of defense and their advice was sound, but I felt it best to listen to my intuition.
I left the house, went to see a friend and let it be. It is what it is.
I like, like most of us, experience stress and anxiety. Mine is centered around financial, which I would gather to guess, that is to some degree common with most of us. The beauty of listening to my body is that it is telling. And, of late, my body has been screaming at me.
By letting go, and detaching from the situation I let myself become at peace with the situation. The problem will be fixed when it does, not a second sooner or a second later. That minute, hours, possibly days in between, that is where we tend to experience worry, which leads to anxiety. So, my focus instead was being in the moment.
When I got home yesterday evening, there were many blessings to count. It was overcast; it has even rained, so the house was not in direct sunlight all day. I also don’t get overheated easily. As a result, I was rather comfortable and slept soundly.
This morning, the garage door next door was open as I mowed my grass. My neighbor is much the opposite of me. He is incredibly handy. He makes amazing metallic art, is building his own furniture, and guess what? His profession is A/C work.
I knew that he does and knew eventually he would be available to ask his advice, and furthermore, he too only knows what he knows. Computers are not his forte, so I go over and help him when he has questions. In return, he will give me pieces of his artwork, sometimes fish if he has it, which I love all of it.
I am not someone who is going to go over and knock on his door and say, “Hey, my A/C is out.”
I won’t. When his garage door is down, he is with his family, and I am not going to interrupt that. Mine can wait, and it did.
When I saw him in the garage working, I went over and told him my situation. Easy fix, he told me. All I did was blow my fuse inside the A/C unit. He asked if I had a fuse (which, of course, I did not) so he gave me one and told me that it is easy to replace, but if I had any questions or needed further assistance, he would come over.
I opened up the panel to discover the fuse staring me in the face. It was as plain as day, and it literally took me less than 5 minutes to complete the entire task.
Before I had left his garage after he gave me the fuse, I asked him if he needed any storage containers. I had extra and offered to give him some. He accepted, so when I went over to tell him thank you, I took them with me. It gave me such great pleasure being able to feel like I was able to contribute.
In fact, it gave me more pleasure than it did getting my A/C fixed. And, what truly was amazing about my neighbor is something I call “the thought before the thought.” When I told him my situation, he knew it was a problem with the fuse. He immediately, even before I answered if I had one, was looking for one to give to me. He was happy to help me, just as I was happy to help him.
While there, he asked me about our new neighbors. I am the one everybody asks, because I am the first to go over and introduce myself. When I moved into the neighborhood, I put a hand written note in everyone’s mailbox and invited them to my house that upcoming weekend for some lasagna and an opportunity for them to meet me, and vice versa.
When we meet someone, it is an opportunity to set boundaries as well as expectations. Beyond that, for most people, first impressions mean a lot, and in some cases what is remembered most.
What do I think about our new neighbors? “They are awesome!!!”
Granted, whenever someone asks about any of my neighbors I say the same, but it is true. As long as someone is kind to me, that is all that matters. Even if they are not, I am not going to express that to someone else, because it is my experience. It does not mean they will have a different experience. I wouldn’t want to taint someone’s perceptions based upon something negative that I had to say. Plus, I like to treat people like I like to be treated.
It matters not what their interests are, what they believe, or if we have any common interests. I am not dating them. They are someone who lives next to me, and that means if I see them outside, I will smile. I will waive.
After getting my AC operational, I went back to mowing. I have a large corner lot with a sizeable amount of grass that I mow myself. Most of those living around me ask why I also mow the commons area behind my house. “You don’t have to you, you know.”
That is true. There is a lot in this world that I don’t have to do. I don’t have to, but I do choose to do so.
“Why?” (The question that starts at 2, but seemingly never ends).
“Does it look better when you walk by?” I ask. “Do you like the way it looks?”
Yes, of course, they do. What they do not see is the line drawn from my property to the common’s area. Furthermore, if it beautifies my entire property, making it a more pleasurable sight not only for myself but for others, then the question I would ask would be, why wouldn’t I mow it?
Speaking of the way it looks, I have come to a place where if I like something, I make it a practice to tell someone. Yesterday, while in Ft. Lauderdale, I was walking back to my car and a woman was looking at herself in the mirror of her makeup thing (I’m sure that’s the technical term). The thought before the thought in my head was, “You are enough.” So, I said aloud, “You look amazing” and kept walking.
Everyone has something amazing about them – that special nuance that makes them unique and special.
And, while kindness does not make headlines, and compassion is not something that draws an audience, it is amazing to find those amazing people who practice both. Today, for me, it was my neighbor. Tomorrow, it may be someone else I know, or it could be a total stranger.
People are Amazing!