I always say everything is perfectly timed. We're always at the right place at the right time. There are no mistakes. Even 'mistakes' are what's supposed to happen. And there's always the choice for love.
After getting an early start this
morning, I finally had enough energy to stop for that overdue gift I've
been promising one special little boy. There were a few places I could've
chosen to park but my car specifically took me to a certain structure. Even
the walking route I chose seemed a little particular, but I didn't think
anything of it ... until I came across the following scenario before I got to the store:
A Big Blue Bus [Santa Monica's public
transportation] was stopped, loading people on and off at the corner of Fourth
St. and Santa Monica Blvd. There seemed to be a bit of commotion around the
front curbside tire of the bus. When I got closer, I noticed the bus had
completely flattened a skateboard.
On the curb I saw two young boys - one
holding a skateboard, the other empty-handed. A few people were trying to
explain to the bus driver that he needed to back up just a little so they could
scoop the crushed skateboard out from under the enormous tire. Clearly, the bus
driver didn't want to oblige. It took a few moments for the skateboard to be
returned to its Middle School owner.
The boy inspected his skateboard and
just as suspected, it was rendered useless. Tears filled his eyes as he threw
it to the ground. My heart was breaking for him. Concerned about his
well-being I called out to him:
Me: "Hey kid ... Are YOU
He shuffled his feet toward me, giving his skateboard a
Me: "Is it broken?"
Me: "Can you fix it?"
The boy picked up the remains of his tattered
skateboard. He started to leave as the bus driver closed the doors and pulled
away without even so much as a 'sorry kid'.
Me: "How much would it cost for a new
Boy (discouraged. head hanging): "Thirty
Me: "Let me see?" [I examined the
skateboard] "Could you keep the wheels and the bindings and just get a new
Boy: "Yeah, that's what I'd do. It's
thirty bucks for a deck."
I looked into the boy's disappointed
eyes. All I could see were shattered dreams of summer fun. Without a
thought I reached into my bag.
Me: "I can give you thirty bucks for
a new deck."
Instantly the boy's eyes shifted. The
disappointment lifted. A pinkish glow filled his face as he smiled and thanked
me with all sincerity. It was as if the sun had just come out for the first
time EVER. He turned the corner to catch up with his friend. I went in the
No names were exchanged. No strings
attached. No stipulations. I didn't say "do something nice for someone today."
or "work it off." I didn't even question whether he could afford to get a new
skateboard on his own. It wasn't about the money.
I just happened to be at the right place at the
And surprisingly, I had thirty dollars
cash in my wallet. Not twenty. Not forty. Thirty. What's thirty bucks?
Produce for the week? A movie for two? Dinner for one? So I'll walk an extra
dog or two. Big deal. That's nothing next to a happy kid on his summer
I imagine the boy felt great but I can
guarantee his joy doesn't compare to the bliss I experienced for the rest of the
day...even this moment...and probably in my dreamy slumber right on through
Had I chosen a different route, had I
been a few seconds later or one minute earlier, I would've missed this
opportunity to choose love.
Later I found exactly the gift I was looking for [Mia, check
your mail next week]. I won a coupon for a free 24 oz. smoothie
at my favorite juice bar. I bought lunch at Baja Fresh and earned
a coupon for one free taco on my next visit. And I had $30 credit to
put toward my favorite 60-dollar-pair of shoes (Pumas, y'know). When I got to
the store, I ordered the shoes and found out they were half-off. So, I saved
thirty bucks afterall.
Life is beautiful.