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Thursday, December 29, 2005

"Why should I care?"

Some people in this world lack concern for their fellow man.

Case in point, I smashed my finger today. Right between the top edge of a large steel recycling dumpster, and the heavy kitchen stove that was dropped on it. Very painful.

It happened while I was helping my landlord move some heavy old kitchen appliances from one of my his apartment buildings to the local city recycling center. The refrigerators had a convenient place right alongside a fence, no problems there, but, the old stoves, they had to be hoisted up over the edge of a large truck-sized "scap metal" dumpster and thrown inside. Not an easy task to do by hand mind you.

As expected, the two of us were having trouble lifting those heavy appliances over the edge, so one of the men who worked at the recycling center came over and "offered" to help. It was a much appreciated gesture, but, unfortunately, it didn't match the man making it. He seemed to be in a hurry, overly gruff, and not very concerned with our safety. So much so, that between exasperated commands to the two of us, he let go of the stove and dropped it on the edge of the dumpster where my hand was supporting the appliance. My middle finger was smashed between the two metal objects.

Naturally, it hurt like hell.

I know the dropping part was essentially an accident; it happens from time to time. But what irked me was that this man seemed content to add insult to injury by merely shooting both of us dirty looks, shaking his head, and sauntering off to do something else. No appology. No concern for the possibility of having broken my finger. Just a dirty look and he was gone.

Thankfully, I didn't break anything -- despite my knuckles having taken the brunt of the injury. I was definitely lucky. My middle finger is swollen to nearly twice it's size, though, and turning vibrant shades of black and blue. But no broken bones. And until the swelling goes down, my hand is pretty useless for grabbing anything.

Accidents -- bad things -- happen, often just by chance. You can't predict them. You can't stop them. They just happen. It's a fact of life. What's sad is when you realize just how inconsiderate some people can be as a result. The get so wrapped in their own lives and problems, that they could care less what happens to those around them. Pain. Injury. Inconvenience. "Hey, it happened to them, not me. Why should I care?"

This New Year, I have a little reminder for all of us. Don't fall into that way of thinking. Don't be that gruff inconsiderate recycling worker. Show your concern. Care. Be thoughtful. Go out of your way. If something goes wrong, help fix it. Life is full of thousands of opportunities to care for others. Big. Small. It doesn't matter. Take the initiative. Be responsible. Sometimes the simplest show of kindness for your fellow human being can lead to far greater rewards than can ever be found by looking out for just yourself.

Have a blessed day all! I'm going to go find some more ice. :)

Your happily blogging friend,

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Jon Baas

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