I got schooled by life today.

I’m a big believer in the power of positivity, and try hard to present that in my life. However, like most of us, I can be a real jerk sometimes. I have an EXTREMELY friendly and talkative neighbor that I usually rush passed in order to avoid lengthy conversation (and I mean lengthy) as I go to or from my car, amidst my busy day.  He usually catches me right  as I’m getting in my car to go teach, or as I come home from a long exhausting day (starving, or having to pee). I get so stuck inside my own head and my own life that I’ve arrogantly lacked decency and patience for my own neighbor. 

Well today I was having car trouble, and as I was examining the situation under the hood, I heard a familiar voice 

“Having car trouble?” He called over

“Oh no.. He’s got me! I don’t have time for this right now!” I thought to myself, frustrated. “Yeah” I said, “The check engine light came on this morning so I’m just checking it out” in a flat voice that pretty much wrote him off. 

“Here, let me take a look” he said, walking over. He then proceeded to spend the next 30 minutes helping me fix my car! Digging around, filling fluids, coaching me through it all. He showed me how badly I needed an oil change and then smiled at me and said “Wait here, I’ll be right back.” 

He disappeared into his house for a few minutes and then came back with a red piece of paper. “Take this, it will get you all taken care of for an oil change and tune up. There will be a small cost left over, so here..” He continues, pulling out a $50 bill. 

“ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? I CAN’T TAKE THAT!!!” I shouted in disbelief, backing up and waving my hands frantically in front of me. He went on insisting, saying he was so happy to help me and that he’s a retired doctor living on his own, and I’m a kid in need of a little help, and he would rather his money go to good use for a good person (yes, he called me a good person even after the impatient way I’ve been guilty of behaving).

He shoved it into my hands and said that he wants me to fix my car and to be safe, and all he asked for in return was that I say hello when I see him. 

Well, don’t I just feel like a first class jerk. My heart shattered into thousands of pieces with the shame of my stupidity and rudeness, and how touched and humbled I am by his unexpected, underserved, and unbelievable kindness. I was stunned, and boy did it sure shape my attitude. The rest of the day I was determined to pay it forward, making sure to use my best manners and smile extra warmly at everyone I encountered. 

Today was extremely humbling. Of course I’m going to pay him back! (I’ve already made him some cookie-brownie hybrids too) 😄 

I guess I just wanted to share about his kindness because it was just so beautiful. 

Anyway, thats all for tonight, folks! I hope you all had a great day today, and are maybe inspired by my neighbor to be a little more… well, neighborly ❤️ Sometimes we all need a wake up call.