Taking Notice

“We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize.”

—  Thich Naht Hanh

As we came out of Blockbuster tonight, movies in hand, life handed me an opportunity.

Two women in a nearby car were parked in the middle of the lot. As we put the movies in the car, Zachary said, “Uhh, I think they’re having trouble.”

We walked over to the car and asked the driver if she needed some help. She turned the crank and although it turned over, it died right away. I had her try a couple more times. No luck.

At that point, she said she had someone she could call so Zachary and I pushed the car out of the traffic and into a safe parking spot. After making sure she was able to get ahold of someone, we walked away talking about what could be wrong. Fuel pump? Fuel filter? Out of gas? I later regretted not going back and asking her if it was something so simple as being out of gas.

So why, you are now asking yourself, is this an opportunity for me?

  • First and foremost, it was an opportunity to make a small difference in someone’s day.
  • It was also an opportunity to show my son that it’s ok to help people.
  • Finally, it was an opportunity to take notice.

Huh, take notice?

Owl eyes

Yes, so often we don’t take notice of what’s going on around us. It’s so easy to go through life with our head down, focused on our worries and goals that we forget to notice the people around us. It’s so easy to not notice all the little things other people are doing for us. It’s even easier to forget to help them, like they’ve helped us.

The clerk who’s extra pleasant at the grocery store. The guy at Blockbuster who comes up and asks you if you’re having trouble finding anything. The concierge at the hotel who comes up and helps you with your bag when you’re struggling. The janitor who empties your trash every night. The guy in the car that slowed down to let us merge. The person who you haven’t seen in years, but remembered to call you on your birthday. The blogger who’s kind enough to comment on something you’ve written, time and time again. A spouse who makes dinner most night. And on and on and on …

So, yes, pushing a car out of traffic was an opportunity to take notice. It was an opportunity to notice two people who needed a push, and help them out. It was also a reminder to take notice of all the people who are doing the small things in my life.

And a reminder to take notice and help them, too.

Helped push two women and their stalled car out of traffic. Gave a little help on sparked.com and hosted another pre-teen sleepover tonight. 

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About Eric Winger

Our perception of time is key to how we use our time. The most fundamental way to change that perception is to give our time. This opens us up to new opportunities and ideas from which we can build to really make a difference. ... Yes, we *do* have time to make a difference!
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4 Responses to Taking Notice

  1. Anne Camille says:

    Agree that it is that awareness, that mindfulness, that opens up possibilities of what opportunities await us. This is what I was trying to articulate in my post the other day. This post articulated those same ideas much better than I did. And what a great example for your son.

    • Eric Winger says:

      Thanks, Anne! Don’t sell your writing short, it’s good!

      Btw – The first idea I had for your Abandoned writing contest was that this was where Thelma & Louise’s car landed. … I’m not sure that’s a good kickoff spot for a sequel. 🙂

  2. Natalie says:

    There’s always time…. to help others, to volunteer, to comment, to pray, to play. Have a good weekend!

  3. Eric Winger says:

    Yes indeed, Natalie. We *do* have time to make a difference. 😉

    Happy weekend to you too!

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