Sunday, April 24, 2011
The Trigger of Life
I had a “wish I’d said that” moment at work this week.
I was speaking with a co-worker around quitting time. He told me that he while he didn’t mind staying late at the office during the winter months, things changed now that the weather is getting warmer.
“Yes,” I said, “once you see the sun is still shining at 5 pm, you want to get outside.”
“It’s the trigger of life,” my co-worker replied.
The trigger of life—I thought that was such a great expression. It’s so fitting, given this grisly death march of a winter we just went through and it’s the perfect theme for Easter.
We got a good look at the trigger of life today when my sister came up with the brilliant idea of visiting the Brooklyn Botanic Garden prior to our Easter dinner.
She also recommended going early, so we could beat the crowds and enjoy the sunshine while it lasted. The gardens were beautiful and the weather was so nice I couldn’t believe it.
The holiday weekend had gotten off to a rough with a Good Friday that was anything but. My office was opened even though Wall Street was closed and the streets were clogged with tourists.
I didn’t get to church, which really bothered me. It was Good Friday, after all. I did make sure to skip eating meat for the day, but I would've felt better if I had attended services at Trinity.
Then as I was racing to catch the train home, I got annoyed at this elderly man with a cane who started to move in front of me.
Please understand—I didn’t say anything rude or offensive, it was just my thinking that was all wrong. I wasn’t trying to help him in any way, I was obsessed with making the train, which had just pulled into the station and opened its doors.
I made the damn train, all right, but I turned around and saw the elderly man struggling to get his Metrocard through the turnstile. I tried holding the doors for him, but the conductor would have none of that, so I let go of the doors and the train pulled out of the station.
I felt so ashamed of myself. I tried blaming my thoughtless actions on big city life and the fact that I was racing to a gym class in Brooklyn Heights, but those are just excuses.
It seems that I’m always in a hurry. I always have to be someplace else—I’m never happy where I am--and now I was blasting by old people on this of all days.
I’ll be 54 years old next month, so I’m probably not all that far behind the old man in age. Some day that could be me struggling with the cane and the Metrocard while younger people race by me in a huff
Okay, so I guess this rates as a teaching moment. It’s time for a change and that walk through the garden was a good start. It helped clear my head and reminded me of the beauty that exists all around us.
I’ll make a point of being more aware of my fellow humans when I go out in the world. I’ll be kind and considerate and instead of racing by in a huff, I’ll slow down and pull that trigger of life.