I was driving along the narrow road in my little corner of the world getting a little aggravated at the traffic. Finally reaching my boiling point, I yelled out loud to no one in particular because I was the only one in my car at the time (I like that you can do that now because everyone assumes you’re on your phone via Bluetooth in your car).
“The light is GREEN you guys!! It’s the little pedal on the right-hand side!! How hard can this be?!? SHEEZUS!”
Then I saw that the cause of my frustration was the onset of the second of the only two known seasons to exist in Pittsburgh: construction season. The other is winter. If you live here, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
I was just about to blow a gasket but then gave up with a loud sigh. I angrily planted my elbow on the inside of my door and slammed my head in my hand with a pout on my face that would have rivaled any four-year-old’s tantrum. I began letting my gaze wander out of boredom and spotted two older boys out of my passenger side window walking up the sidewalk. This really didn’t snag my attention until I saw that one of them was carrying two plastic hangers. You know, the small, ivory-colored hangers you take home with you from a kid’s clothing store purchase? As I looked closer, it became apparent that he had Down Syndrome and the other boy was likely his brother watching over him as they walked to wherever they were going.
As I continued to watch this boy with his hangers, I couldn’t help but smile. He wasn’t just carrying them; he was bewitched and entranced by them. He was experiencing a level of such exquisite delight that it bewitched and entranced me. He was smiling with fascination and complete contentment as he tapped the two ends of each hanger together, then put one on top of the other, and then pulled them apart and tapped the ends together again.
There I was, ready to explode my internal organs all over the inside of my car because it might take me five more minutes to get somewhere that must have been pretty insignificant since I can’t even remember now the destination that was so important that it deserved my life-sustaining entrails. There he was, completely enchanted with such unabashed glee by two simple objects that he clearly regarded as priceless, but that everyone else would consider as worthless.
I felt truly grateful to have witnessed such a sweet moment.
That’s when the true gift of the day set in…
Two plastic hangers had now exquisitely delighted two people on that day in those few minutes of life.
— It’s the simple things in life that count.
— You can’t rewrite yesterday and you can’t control the future. All you have is today.
— Money can’t buy you love.
— Be present.
— Relish the time you have.
Etcetera and so on…
These kinds of statements are what I call bumper-sticker wisdom bits. They are such basic and elementary messages we know, hear, and see throughout our day, and likely every day. Simple messages intended to remind us that life is fleeting, time is limited, and how important it can be to let our eyes and mind wander outside of our passenger side car window. But most of all, to never underestimate the value of the small things.
Much like the exquisite delight waiting for us in the form of two plastic hangers.