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I Thought It Was Important
by Paula Lonergan
Vol 5 Issue 2

Today as I was getting in my car after putting my clothes in the washer at the laundromat, a lady came up to me. She asked me if I was getting ready to leave. I told her no. Then, she proceeded to explain she needed to get home, which was up the street, but didn't think she had the energy. She had heart problems, the buses weren't working, and she didn't think she could walk up the hill to get where she needed to go.

I looked at her for a moment and then decided she was legitimate. I stayed on guard, however, as I drove her up the street three blocks. I asked her if she was walking because of the buses being on strike. She said yes. She caught the city shuttle, wherein normally she would catch the bus which would take her up to her street, instead of three blocks away.

It only took a few minutes of my time and fortunately, she was honest and truly in need and not an axe murderer. I know, I know, I watch too much Law and Order. But it made me think about how easy it is to take things for granted.

I was out of town for a week . During that whole time I didn't get an opportunity to check my email. I thought about it the whole time. I wondered what I was missing, who had written me that I needed to write back, and what important messages were sitting in limbo waiting for me.

When I got back home, however, I came home to find out that not only were the grocery store workers on strike, but so were the transit workers. It's all because of healthcare issues. It means families are losing wages, grocery stores are losing customers and sales, students and workers are walking or hitchhiking, and I'm giving rides to people I have never met before in my life.

Boy, I thought my email was important, but not really in comparison. When I finally checked it after a week, I found there was nothing important that was missed, nothing that couldn't wait until my return. After realizing the situation many families were in when I got back from my trip and especially after helping the lady get where she needed to get because of the out-of-wack transportation situation, I regretted I even sweated it (the unimportant email, that is.)

Copyright 2003 Paula Lonergan
All rights reserved.