I saw you, Mystery Man
One Saturday morning as I was heading out to meet up with friends in Harker Heights, I glimpsed a man walking along the grass across the highway from Walmart.
He was wearing a golfing cap and carrying some grabbers to pick up trash. He walked slowly, with purpose, staring down at the grass.
I didn’t notice anyone else with him, but I noticed him, doing what he could to take care of what he could.
Under everyday circumstances, I might have taken a moment to stop, find out who he was along with his story about why he was taking time out of his Saturday to clean up the side of the roadway, especially with his efforts not being a part of any “official” project as far as I could tell.
But I couldn’t stop. I didn’t want to keep my friends waiting. There was coffee and writer-talk involved, something I don’t get to participate in, in person, very often.
So, Mystery Man, I wanted to say I noticed you. Thanks for doing something positive in an inconspicuous way, without fanfare. You simply got out there and did something, yet it wasn’t unnoticed.
There are a lot of negative things to notice in the world, both large and small negative things that pop up in life, whether flesh-and-blood negative or discussions on Facebook.
I often tell people it is easy to find “bad” news wherever we look.
For some reason, bad news and controversy are what we’re drawn to and share more quickly.
Mystery Man, here’s my attempt to share some good news.
People are quick to complain that “somebody should do something” about this, that, or whatever. Some of the things we complain about aren’t things we can change. Maybe those things are in someone else’s power and we can talk to them about how to change them, and hope they use their power to do so.
Or some things are impossible to change on our own, like hot weather in Texas. That’s the way things go. That’s life.
Yet there are also things that we have the power to change. We don’t need to send for a news crew (although you know who to ask if you do—wink).
If we truly want to see certain things improve, like the side of the road, for example, many times there isn’t much that prevents us from stepping up other than our own need to put legs on our words.
Thanks for the reminder, Mystery Man, whoever you are.