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A recent, impactful life event

inner critic kind gestures life events Sep 04, 2022

Hi everyone! 

Previously I shared my recollection of an impactful experience that occurred when I was barely twelve years old. I encourage you to check it out.

This story is about a more recent occurrence that had a similar impact on my life today at the age of 66.

Last Saturday, my wife Shannon and I donated some very nice chairs to The Joshua School here in Denver. The Joshua School is an alternative school for students with autism spectrum disorder and developmental delays. Our daughter Hannah works there as a behavior Specialist. She asked for my help transporting the chairs and I gladly agreed.

Getting the seats out of the van to make room for the donated chairs was a lot more difficult than originally anticipated. Those are some REALLY heavy suckers!

Once we removed them, Hannah stepped inside the building to use the restroom. I waited inside the entryway near the front desk.

WELLLLLLLL!!!! they say that curiosity killed the cat. While I was scoping out the area I noticed the typical red fire alarm on the wall. It was covered by a plastic visor. I decided to take a close look.

I knew better than to pull the bright, red lever and set off the alarm, but thought it wouldn't hurt to lift the plastic visor. I knew that would have dispatched the fire engines to the scene with their blaring sirens.

I had no idea that lifting the plastic cover would set off a different alarm!

Needless to say, it scared the heck out of me! Hannah came flying out of the ladies room. I'll never forget the exasperated look on her face, when she calmly asked, "What did you do Papa?" 

For a brief second, I reverted back to that 12-year-old paperboy, and thought, deny, deny, deny. But my good sense kicked in and I confessed what happened. she quickly called her colleague who explained that closing the visor would shut off the alarm, and NOT send the fire trucks with blaring sirens to the scene. That would have been an expensive misstep that cost me @200 in addition to my personal embarrassment if the actual fire alarm had been pulled.

Hannah's colleague explained that the visor alarm was designed to deter their students before pulling the real alarm.

Well, I raised my hand to give Hanna a high five and told her "Mission accomplished. It sure scared the hell out of me!

There's an improtant parallel between the way Hannah responded to my foolishness with compassion after the potential crisis was averted and the way my mom and older brother John responded when I was 12 on the first day as a paperboy.

If she had reacted with anger she could have easily reinforced my Inner Critic who was already wagging it's finger and glaring at me.

Regardless of whether I was 12 or 66, the impact of the kindness Hannah showed in those moments still has a lasting impact for which I am grateful.

We don't always know who's thirsty from wandering around in their own emotional desert, and it never hurts to offer a supportive drink from your fountain.

You might be surprised at the impact your small gesture has on others.

I'd like to hear your thoughts on the matter. Join me on Facebook for my weekly LIVE posts!

Until then, stay well and take care,


PS: Click the link for the Facebook Video of this post!

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