What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

06 March 2011

Do You Have a Diem That Needs to be Carpe-d?

I don't know; this seemed like a
"Seize the Day" kind of picture.
I saw that on an ad, I think for some sort of coffee, a couple of weeks ago, and thought it was hysterical. But it's possible that I was running on too-little sleep that day.

So! I've had many occasions this week to consider this verse: "So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get." (Ephesians 5:15-16, The Message) It has occurred to me that "chances" come thick and fast, if I have my eyes open to watch for them.

Yesterday morning I was at a volunteer event and ended up in a (Spanish) conversation with three Venezuelans, one Colombian, and one Mexican. Which was absolutely fabulous, because I wasn't expecting any Spanish practise when I got out of bed. Anyone who has learned a second (or third) language knows that part of the challenge is not only the words, but also the voice; each person's voice and accent are just a teensy bit different than everyone else's. Not a problem in one's native language, but an extra hurdle for the language learner. And even countries that speak the same language and are neighbours don't use all the same words in the same way (like the US and Canada, eh?). I managed to jump into the conversation when we started talking about Congress Avenue being blocked (for a different event). If any of them were surprised that I had been listening, they didn't show it.

And another one (not me this time): On Friday morning I was on the bus and we had just pulled into downtown. A man hailed our bus and explained to the driver that there was a blind passenger coming. So the driver waited, naturally, for the man to make his way onto the bus. Such a simple act of kindness on the part of the man who stopped the bus, and I'm sure he didn't even hesitate before acting, but it would have been just as easy for him to ignore a blind person at the bus stop. He could have called it "Not my problem" and went on his way. But he didn't, and he blessed the man waiting and really, all of us on the bus who got to witness it. I've said it before: I have seen the best of humanity while riding the bus.

A chance may come my way any minute: A chance to show a kindness, or to be an encourager. A chance to give some change to a stranger. Or a chance to learn something and spread my wings a bit more-- at the end of our event yesterday, the woman from Venezuela hugged me and we parted with many "mucho gusto"s (Nice to meet you). Or, just a chance to do the right thing, whether anyone cares or not, like picking up some rubbish off the ground and throwing it away properly. And of course (I have to bring it back to writing), these chances all add up to that experiential life I was talking about on Thursday, and they all give depth and breadth to my writing. So everyone goes home happy.

What about you? What chances have come your way recently?


erica and christy said...

I'm sure you do more nice things in a day than you are even aware of!!

Su said...

The giving change to a stranger one comes my way a lot... I started carrying a couple of dollars in quarters with me not long after I moved here because people are always asking for bus fare. And surely I can spare four quarters.

Madeline Bartos said...

Thanks for sharing that verse! :D It's amazing how one thing can change the way you think. I don't really feel like any drastic chances have come my way, but I think that there are little chances to make myself better and help others that I just pass up.

Su said...

I feel the same way-- there are lots of little chances! I don't think it's possible to catch all of them, of course, but I could definitely be on the lookout more often!

Heather Hellmann said...

You've just won an award! Stop by my blog to see it :)


Su said...

Cool, thanks!

Michelle in a shell said...

So sweet. As cliched as it sounds, I feel like NYC has killed my kindness. Maybe not all of it, but I'm definitely not as receptive to others as I used to be- and probably should still be.

Su said...

Well, you do have to adapt to the culture you're in. NYC has different definitions of "polite" than other places, I think.

When I moved from Glasgow (Scotland) to Texas, I spent about 6 months thinking that Texans are so rude... which horrifies Texans, who think they are the politest people on Earth! But again, it's just a difference in standards; what's polite in Texas isn't polite in Glasgow, and vice versa.

Michelle in a shell said...

Very true. Different standards for different communities!

Su said...

Of course, that also adds to the culture shock once you adapt to one place and then move again. :/