A story is told about a young and very successful executive named Josh who was travelling down a Chicago neighbourhood street. He was going a bit too fast in his sleek, black, 12 cylinder Jaguar XKE, which was only two months old.
He was watching out for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no child darted out, but a brick sailed out and – WHUMP! – it smashed into the Jag’s shiny black side door! SCREECH..!!!! Brakes slammed! Gears ground into reverse, and tires madly spun the Jaguar back to the spot from where the brick had been thrown. Josh jumped out of the car, grabbed the kid and pushed him up against a parked car. He shouted at the kid, “What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing?!” Building up a head of steam, he went on. “That’s my new Jag, that brick you threw is gonna cost you a lot of money. Why did you throw it?”
“Please, mister, please. . . I’m sorry! I didn’t know what else to do!” Pleaded the youngster. “I threw the brick because no one else would stop!” Tears were dripping down the boy’s chin as he pointed around the parked car. “It’s my brother, mister,” he said. “He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can’t lift him up.” Sobbing, the boy asked the executive, “Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He’s hurt and he’s too heavy for me.”
Moved beyond words, the young executive tried desperately to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. Straining, he lifted the young man back into the wheelchair and took out his handkerchief and wiped the scrapes and cuts, checking to see that everything was going to be OK. He then watched the younger brother push him down the sidewalk towards their home.
It was a long walk back to the sleek, black, shining, 12 cylinder Jaguar XKE -a long and slow walk. Josh never did fix the side door of his Jaguar. He kept the dent to remind him not to go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at him to get his attention. . .
In our day to day endeavours we find ourselves behaving like Josh. There are two lessons to learn from this story:
- Never react to a situation without understanding WHY something happened as it did.
- Don’t go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get attention.
Josh got so angry that he held the boy and pushed him against a parked car. His anger did not allow him to understand why the boy threw the brick, but instead, he only thought of the damage to his new Jaguar.
How many times do we react to a situation without understanding the reasons behind it? How many times have you hit your child without really listening to their side of the story? How many times do we judge others without putting ourselves in their shoes?
The boy threw the brick at the car because his brother was in danger and no one was stopping to help. No one even noticed the trouble they were in. By throwing the brick at Josh’s car, he was able to get the attention and help he needed so much.
Are you going by so fast with your life that bricks have to be thrown at you to get attention? Are you busy climbing up your career ladder that you cannot see that person who needs your mentorship? Are you too busy fending for your family that you forget the poor and the homeless? Will it take your child or spouse getting into depression or committing suicide for you to give them the attention?
We need to learn to feel the bricks of life coming at us. We need to learn to feel the pain of others and give the necessary help and attention. To read more posts by Mercy, click HERE