A friend emailed me a little tale recently called "The Brick." Given the high-speed world we live in today, I share it with you with hope that you never are moving so fast you fail to pay attention to what’s really going on around you.
Here’s the tale:
A young, successful executive was zipping down a neighborhood street in his new Mercedes. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars, thought he saw something and slowed down. No children appeared. Instead, a brick smashed against the car’s door.
He slammed on the brakes, backed up and jumped out of the car. He grabbed the nearest kid, pushed him up against a car and started yelling at him. “What was that all about? Who are you? What the heck are you doing? That's a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?”
The boy was apologetic. “Please mister, I didn't know what else to do. I threw the brick because no one else would stop.” Tears were dripping down his face, and he pointed to a spot just on the other side of a parked car. “It's my brother. He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can't lift him up.”
He was sobbing now and asked the stunned executive. “Would you please help me get him back in the wheelchair. He's hurt and too heavy for me.”
The driver, now moved beyond words, tried to swallow the lump in his throat. He hurried over and lifted the handicapped boy into his wheelchair, took out his handkerchief and dabbed at the cuts and scrapes on his face. A quick look told him the boy would be OK.
“Thank you and may God bless you,” the child told the man.
The man, too stunned to move, simply watched as the brother pushed the boy down the sidewalk toward their home.
It was a long slow walk back to the car. The damage was noticeable. But the driver never bothered to repair the dent in the door. He kept it there to remind him of this message: “Don't go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention.”
This tale got my attention. And if you are like most people I know – running hard all the time – I hope it gets yours, too. As we drive relentlessly toward all our goals, we need to stop from time to time and put in perspective the success we achieve. And remember what it really means. Without the dent.