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Missed opportunities

Updated: Jul 23, 2022

Missed opportunities

Today, I want to take a minute to share thoughts on missed opportunities.

We are busy- our worlds are busy- there are never enough hours to do what we need or want to do. Oh, we do the best we can, but are we missing opportunities just trying to keep up?

I was on my way to work early one morning. Stopping at a convenience store I saw the usual crowd of people stopping in on their way home from the bar or party. There was the creepy guy sitting in his car watching everyone with eyes that held every emotion except kindness. Past all of them, there was a young girl, with missing teeth and a blue dog on the leash. I didn’t see her when I went in only the dog, whose inquiring eyes and soft tail wag let me know that he was a gentle soul. Grabbing my soda quickly I hurried out seeing the dog now had a companion.

She was young, dressed in a t-shirt and overalls. Her hair, shoulder-length, was clean and combed. She was busy with a food treasure she had obtained from inside the store, but not too busy to respond with a jagged smile and thank you when I mentioned what a great dog she had.

As I got in my car, our interaction, washed over me. As I pulled away, leaving her with the collection of night dwellers and misfits, I chided myself. Though I rarely carry cash, I had 20 dollars on me. I should have stopped and given it to her. But more than that I felt I should have hugged her, reminded her that she is a child of God and was destined for great things. I should have told her- she is loved.

But I didn’t want to be late to work.

I stopped at a stop light- I had only been gone a minute- still time to turn around and say something. But, I didn’t.

As I continued on my drive, the smile on her face haunted me. She appeared to be a gentle soul, bound up in a world that tosses people out as simply as we toss out a used napkin. I wondered if anyone else had or would show her kindness. I wondered what she was doing at the store at 4 in the morning. Way too early for most young people to be out. I worried that she and the dog were one of the many “throwaways” and homeless we have on the island. Did she and the gentle blue dog have a place to stay? Food to eat? A safe place from the craziness of the streets.

I could have found all of this out, but I was caught up in my busy world. Too busy to even offer the simplest of actions- a few kind words and the understanding of an open heart.

As I write this, I am saddened that my own world has made me not open to these opportunities and I wonder how many of you reading this will feel the same way.

No, I am not speaking about just the poor lost souls but all of those people that we have in our lives. How many of you told your spouse this morning they are loved and valued? Did you remind your children they are gifts and destined for great things? At work, did you find a way to help a co-worker instead of finding fodder to bring them down?

Think about these missed opportunities. One second/ minute of your time could change someone’s path.

What I ask for your exercise today is to take that moment- that opportunity to say to someone; that they are a child of God and destined for great things, and above all, they are loved. Also- take a minute to remind yourself this is for you too.

Be well, Be Happy and Live your best life!


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