police officers and ATMs

How was your week? Did anything funny happen? Did nothing happen at all? Did God show up? I’d love to hear about it.

I didn’t do very well at my own challenge for this week.

Or maybe I haven’t done super well so far, I’ve still got a few days (this is what we call rationalization).

The people I’ve said hi to have been friendly but nothing special happened. Nothing particularly of interest came out of saying hi. To be honest, that’s going to happen. Every interaction won’t end with an amazing story. Some will but lots are just what they are and in this case that’s you being a friendly engaged member of your community.

What was of interest was the times I didn’t say anything. I guess as I reflect back on the week the times I didn’t speak were the ones that intrigue me the most.

I was walking from my car into a building in down town Galt for a meeting. As I walked I passed a police officer. He did not look particularly interested in saying hi, or smiling, or anything particularly positive. At least that’s what his well worn scowl was telling me.

This might seem like a totally reasonable response to office angry, but it’s really not.

I sit on some committees with the police. Often they folks on the committee are managers. They support and supervise the folks in the community like the fellow I passed.

I know for a fact that the Police want to be engaged in community. They want people to see them as approachable. Knowing this I still didn’t say anything.

It’s basically his job to say hi back. He is obligated to be at the very least pleasant. It was a guaranteed win. I was not going to get yelled at.

But I still didn’t do it.

I was getting some money form an ATM the next day. I turned to walk out and saw a friendly looking lady standing behind me waiting to use the ATM.

I walked right by.

It’s weird to talk around ATMs and money right? People want to be just left alone right?

That’s what I told myself as I walked past without even smiling.

This should be so easy! Just say hi to people. Just connect in the most basic way possible with the people you come across. No going out of your way. It’s not like I’m looking for ways to bear my soul. It’s just a hello.

And I missed it over and over. I missed it when it was easy. I talked myself out of it more than once.

It just goes to show me how much more growing I have to do. It shows me how much I let my actions be dictated by fear more than love and grace. It shows me that this life I keep trying to live takes a lot of effort and choice day after day.

But I get another shot at it tomorrow and the next day and I’m going to be better than I was. Not perfect but better.

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