How Long are Your Jumper Cables?: Finding Gratitude in Our Community

As I’m walking a family out to the waiting room the front door bursts open and a friend announces I’ve left the dome light on in my car. It’s late in the afternoon and I haven’t driven since early that morning; it was a cold day (finally!) and he was worried about my battery. As I ran out two other folks joined me from a nearby office. Turns out my battery was dead so the three of us set about trying to figure out how to use jumper cables. In the midst of our confusion a couple in a white truck offered to help. Before I knew it everyone swapped parking spots, he pulled out some much more efficient, longer jumper cables and my car was up and running. One friend stayed with me to make sure my battery kept the charge and my next clients were not only understanding of my lateness but they shared their own funny story about trying to charge a battery.

This time of year it can be easy to focus on our “have not’s.” Perhaps it’s a power bill you can’t put off any longer or your home that’s about to foreclose. Your kids come to you with a long, expensive list, your dog really needs surgery and your parents say you must fly home for the holidays. The days are short and dark; the holiday cards and TV movies are lonely reminders. The have not’s overtake and all of a sudden the world looks bleak.

That cold night in the parking lot reminded me that sometimes it helps to look up from our personal problems, see the community around us and remember we have much to be thankful for. When we see someone we know in the grocery store we stop and chat. When there’s someone in trouble on the side of the road (or in the parking lot) we stop and offer what we have. We know each other’s cars, homes and dogs. In this electronic age where people seem to connect more on-line then in-person, we actually know each other and care.
Take time to enjoy our mountain community this holiday season!