Amazing that we forget how things used to be. Remember rotary dial phones, and princess phones, and the first cordless phones; and all along there were pay phones. And phone banks. And then the first real commercial mobile phones came out in 1983 – they had those thick antennas and were as big as a brick; and all along there were pay phones. And phone booths.
Fast forward to now: everybody has a cell phone – right? Well, obviously not everybody, because this fellow didn’t have one. He was staring at that pay phone and looking around for a quarter he needed to use it. Imagine not having a cell phone, or a quarter to use a pay phone. Think about that.
We get so caught up in ourselves that we don’t see these kinds of things going on around us; we are so focused on what we’re doing that we can’t see what some people are unable to do; and we take so much of what we have for granted that we can’t imagine somebody not having all that we have. The moral of this story: be aware that there are people who may not have all that we have, and as bad as things might seem, they can always be worse. There are people around us who need a helping hand, an encouraging word, an act of kindness, a word to the wise, or…. a quarter. Never be too rushed or blind to see those in need, nor too full of yourself or busy to help.
These thoughts went through my head in the millisecond that I focused on this fellow standing in front of that pay phone. And as that image developed in my mind, I turned and gave him a quarter. Let me tell you this: he was just as incredulous that someone did that as I was to see someone trying to use that pay phone.
"It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.” Josiah Charles Stamp
Josiah Charles Stamp, 1st Baron Stamp (1880 – 1941), was a British civil servant, industrialist, economist, statistician, writer, and banker. He was a director of the Bank of England, and chairman of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway.
Did you ever hear “what you sow you shall reap”? It’s from Galatians VI in the King James Bible, and it’s also what every mother teaches every child. It’s so simple, and yet so important. The things you do impact others, they impact you and your future, and they become part of what others know and say about you. Like a pebble thrown in a pond, your actions create ripples around you. Say or do something nice: others feel good and say nice things in return; act rudely or disrespectfully: and others feel and act badly in return. Give great service: others will appreciate it and remember you; act like you don’t care and others won’t care about you. You’re responsible for the things you do, and while it’s easy to dodge those responsibilities, you cannot dodge the consequences of dodging your responsibilities – today or ever.