This is another guest entry from my friend and fraternity brother David Spiegel. He's got a lot of great ideas and every once in a while he hits one out of the park and it compels me to share what he has to say. Today's one of those times. Here's David:
Once again on this "How Am I Doin' " I am writing later in the day. And once again the day has influenced what I am writing about. My day started out with a gift of some extra time. My new smart phone allows me to check my emails and bank balances from bed as I drink my first morning coffee! Cool beans!
I accidentally scheduled my training for 7 instead of so I was not able to work with Kieth when I showed up at . No big.....I still got in a decent workout.
On my way home,about a block from my house, I saw a young man laying half on the curb and half on the road,his friend standing helplessly over him.. I pulled over to see if I could be of assistance.Cars continued whizzing by,honking at me for obstructing their path . The young man had tripped and it seems he may have sprained his ankle. I asked how I could help him. He said it hurt , not terribly and if I could drive them around he corner to the High School he could figure things out from there.
It sounded like a reasonable plan. He was a big boy and his slightly built friend was unable to help him. I helped him up and got him in the car and the three of us took the two minute drive around the corner to the High School.
Here is where the story gets interesting. The boy, although a bit hefty, was a very soft spoken kid. He was polite,a bit shaken a bit embarrassed but you could just tell he was a nice kid.
He called his Mom to let her know what had happened. Over the next 6-10 minutes,the time it took to go around the corner and for his buddy to go get the nurse and a wheel chair, I listened to the Mom tear into this young man non-stop." How could this happen" "how could you be so stupid" "How irresponsible" "How did you get into a strangers car" "How many times have I told you never to do that" 'You're grounded" "Your car privileges are lost now...if you are too irresponsible to walk with out falling how can I let you drive a car." "You have no respect for my time"...in all it was horrible!
I felt terrible for this kid. I wanted to reach out and just give him a hug and let him know that he was okay and that all would be fine.I gave him my business card and let him know that if he or his mom or the school needed me I could be reached on my cell.
Now before you get all "well the Mom has a point about getting in a car with strangers..." on me remember, he was laying in the road! This man child had been on the ground for who knows how long,cars kept passing him by as if he was a pile of leaves and he could not get himself up. And now he was being berated by the one person in life who should be his primary nurturer.
I have been in similar situations where I wanted to just jump all over my kids for one thing or another. It is precisely in that moment that I take a breath, hold my tongue and when the heat has been cooled from the situation take the opportunity to address the episode and try to come to an understanding as to how this may be handled differently should anything like this happen again.
My take away from all of this? Simple. Be loving. Be compassionate. Be thoughtful. Be mindful. Be thankful......some day you may be laying in the road.
Thanks, Dave! Good advice for us all.