Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Nature of People

What I'm Reading: Splendid by Julia Quinn and Brothers by Da Chen

What I'm Working On: I wish it was writing........

I wish I had as much insight into people and myself twenty years ago as I do now. It would have saved a lot of frustration.

I used to think that I was pretty average all the way around. No one ever pointed out in any way that stuck that I was something out of the ordinary. Because I assumed I was the average gal, I also assumed that most people were quite a lot like me.

You know what they say about assuming, right?

I learned I assumed that most people were about as smart as me in my thinking-I’m-average-mode. Never mind that I was salutatorian of my high school class, got a nearly perfect score on the English section of the ACT, took the GRE half-drunk and still got over a 1200 that first time.

I don’t assume all people figure things out as fast as I do any more. I cut everyone some slack until I see what they can do. I’ve learned along the way that I’ve been blessed. Being gifted isn't something you can choose. It just is or isn't.

I did – until this weekend – sometimes still assume that most people share the same level of responsibility and compassion that I do.

Yeah, I was wrong there, too. And that's unfortunate because compassion and responsibility -- unlike intelligence -- are a choice.

A player on the football team of my favorite high school broke his leg Friday night. His parents were out of town at a meeting for his dad’s company that was mandatory. He didn’t have any family at the game. He didn’t have an adult to ride in the ambulance with him to the remote country hospital to which they needed to transport him. He didn’t have anyone to reassure his mom on the phone.

The coaches were busy coaching – as they should have been. They had 40 other boys to worry about. The one athletic trainer at the game had her hands full with other injuries. (Did I mention how sucky the refs were, letting the other team just slug and punch our team without throwing any flags?)

There were, however, some school officials at the game. These people drove their own cars to the game instead of catching a ride on the football bus like I did. (Did I mention my DH is one of the coaches?) They SHOULD have been the ones to step up and say, “I’ll go with him," especially since their titles at the school have something to do with sports.

But they didn’t.

So I did.

Never mind that the football bus is my only way to get home (2 hours away). Never mind that the player will also need to get home. Never mind that when I said I was going, my husband said, “As soon as I get off the bus at the school, I’ll get in the car and come get you.” (Two hours home. Two hours back. Then two more hours home. Yep, I married a good one!)

In the end, if I hadn’t gone, this high school age boy would have gone by himself. Other than getting home at 3 am, it wasn’t that big of a deal. Not really when you consider everything.

What’s everything? Well everything boils down to the fact that if it had been my DD or DS, I’d have hoped and prayed that someone cared enough to worry about how they’d get home later and just volunteered to go with her or him. I couldn’t imagine letting him go alone.

Doing what’s right isn’t always easy or convenient. Learning that many people that ought to care just don’t is pretty damn hard.

I spent my weekend being disappointed by a few members of the human race.

And that just sucks.


Epilogue: The kid broke his fibula. He was quite the brave trooper. His parents were really grateful I went with him, as was he. I might have been tired yesterday, but it didn’t matter. People matter.


mimi said...

Amen to everything you said, Macy, and thank you for being an adult who cares. It's not that you have to be gifted, or special, to have a heart and some good old-fashioned compassion (although from knowing you I know you have all of these qualities in abundance)--you just have to be alert and thinking of someone other than yourself once in awhile. Too bad the other so-called "grownups" you work with can't see that.

And {{hugs}} on the crappy refs. Lord knows my favorite high school has had to deal with plenty of those!

Glad your boy is okay.

Terry Odell said...

Brava! Self-centeredness is such a crappy trait. I'm proud to know there are people like you (and proud to know I know you!)