I have written before on this blog about people who inspire me. I have a new person to add to that mix…The Big H! Yes, the husband has made the list. So many reasons why this is true, but I would like to highlight one trait in particular. My husband, God bless him, is a believer. He believes he can make a difference in almost any situation, and this is a wonderful thing.
He picked me up from work yesterday, and as I got into the car he "shhhh’d" me since he was on the phone. It appeared he was waiting for someone to pick up. When that certain someone did pick up, my husband said:
"Hi, I am calling to report a pothole on 47th and Park."
Now, we live in New York City. Reporting a pothole in NYC is like reporting a prostitute in Bangkok. Sorry, Bangkok, but our potholes are EVERYWHERE. Driving a car in this city makes one wonder where DO our tax dollars go? When faced with such a vast problem as one little person, my inclination is often to throw my hands in the air. MY husband? Oh no. That is the time to jump in. He was thrilled (THRILLED!) when Mayor Bloomberg introduced 311. 311 is New York City’s phone number for government information and non-emergency services. Their website says "Whether you’re a resident, business owner, or a visitor, all the resources of New York City are just a phone call away… "
Whatever to all that, is my attitude. I mean, who really listens to what is reported on 311? I am sure thousands of calls are made everyday, and do they really make a difference? Yeah, right.
My husband is quite possibly 311’s most frequent caller. He reports potholes, broken lights, car alarms that go off in the middle of the night, broken parking meters, you name it. My husband, you see, is a believer.
I listened in awe last night as he maintained a 10 minute conversation with the 311 operator, explaining to her that said pothole was a car eater, and a major road hazard. I think he actually said it was just shy of a crater and a smaller car may very well fall completely into it.
And as I listened, I realized how cynical, apathetic and horrible I can be. On something like that, I might bitch and moan but keep on going. He stops to make a difference. I see myself as an agent of change and an influencer in my immediate circle of existence, but I am thinking too small. The Big H sees himself as an agent of change regardless of the size of the pond. Small pond (a workplace, for example) or big pond (NYC, for example) he is confident that his voice can and will be heard. And cheers to that. I can learn from that. What a wonderful way to be – not cynical but optimistic; not apathetic but active and positive you can make a difference in just about any situation. It’s in his DNA, and I hope that rubs off on me. If more people were like that, perhaps there would be fewer potholes, more peace on the streets, more flowers planted in the urban jungle, more citizen uprisings about issues that affect our country and the world. Something to think about.