This afternoon I stood outside visiting with another volunteer and friend at the Daybreak Shelter during the family style picnic we go to each week. One of our friends came up and started a conversation.
“See that grass?” he asked, pointing at the newly laid sod. I nodded. “Yeah, if they had put fertilizer on it right before that big rain the other day, it would be taking off about now. But they didn’t. And look at it.”
I thought for a second. “You mean some 10-10-10?” I asked.
He continued. “Yeah, that’s right. That sure would have helped. See if they put that on there, it would really grow.”
I kicked my shoe on the sidewalk, trying to figure out how to phrase what I wanted to say. I tried to speak gently. “I’m afraid you’re telling the wrong person about this. Is there someone you could tell that could make it happen?”
He laughed. “No. No one will listen. Besides it’s too late. The rain is over. It’s just going to take a long time now.” He continued to bemoan the fate of the new grass.
How many times do we do this? Tell everyone but the one we should about our problems or issues or concerns. Everyone but THE one who could do something.
I did not want to write this tonight. But it has been all my mind ever since.
Because I am guilty.
I don’t fault others or myself for talking things through with someone. Not at all. It is important to have a good sounding board, someone who will listen and make suggestions on how you could best handle a situation. But in the end? The only way to resolve it and to make things happen is to address it with the other person or people who COULD make a change. (You getting all this, Tara? Um yeah, I’m writing it down.)
I remember talking a situation over with Daddy a few years ago. Numerous times. The same old thing. And, after several conversations, his response was pretty much, “Why are you telling me all this? I can’t do anything about it.” Finally I got his point. He couldn’t. But I could.
Daddy was right. Too often we do just what my friend was doing. We hem and haw about something that is going on, but when it comes down to it, we do not ACT. How many times do we complain about a work situation with everyone but the person in charge? How often do we put our concerns aside, thinking it is too late or our voice won’t matter? How many times do we feel our heart breaking over the plight of a group of people, but tell ourselves no one will listen?
Listen. I know. I am guilty of this, but I also know I have to stop. The grass is greener on the other side because someone saw a need and didn’t just talk about it; they acted. If we are going to change the world, our communities, our neighborhoods, our homes, our RELATIONSHIPS–if we are going to stand for justice and the well-being of ourselves and others, we have to stop just talking about it. We have to go to the folks who can either take action or help US to do so.
I saw this picture of a great bumper sticker the other day. I love this.
I think I will stick this to my mirror. So I can remember and recommit every morning–I’m going to quit honking so much, and I. Will. Act.
Tonight I’m thankful for my Daddy who empowered me to go to the source, who taught me I could do anything I set my mind to, and who helped me to have confidence in approaching someone with a concern, a plan, a dream. I am thankful for friends and family who dream with me, who listen to me “honk,” and who then hold me accountable to do the seeking, to act. Most of all, I am thankful for this gift of grace, that tomorrow I can start anew, with the commitment to honk less, seek more. This. Yes, I think so. Y’all in?