You’re in control…you have a 550 horsepower engine in your reign, so you do the obvious…pump the gas, and as expected, you thunder through the freeway…boasting 0-60 miles in 4.2 seconds, you felt like you just broke mach 1.
Sleek, elegant, and silky smooth…you ride through the wind knowing it just slips off the glossy surface…you give yourself a smirk thinking, “Active differential for improved steering capabilities at very high speeds”…you rip through the road with finger-slight turns on your heated steering wheel…yeah, one zigzag at a time with ease.
You left the freeway, pulled into an exit, and you smiled…I just commanded the road, hmm…now time to command some attention…
You drive slower than usual and there they are…eyes. From car enthusiasts to anybody in particular…they know a 6-figure luxury sports car when they see one. You pretend to look ahead, but you’re completely aware that their eyes are glued on the Spectrum Blue exterior, seamless curves from front to back, and the gleaming embossed logo…so, taking your eyes off the road, you gave the onlookers that long awaited glance…yes, everyone, I’m driving MY Jaguar XJ.
You seductively inhale your own parade…and then you heard the inevitable…
A DULL THUD
You forced the brakes, knowing that the brake assist provides that “short-stop” distance so you can quickly spot your culprit. You got out of your prized possession fuming…picking up the brick that caused the huge dent on the passenger door, you’re READY TO SHOVE IT DOWN the kid’s throat. There he is…big-eyed, full of guilt…
“What do you think you’re doing? Are you going to pay for that?”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t know what else to do. I threw the brick, because I didn’t think you would stop.”
“It’s my brother (and he pointed to a spot about 3 feet from where your car stopped). He rolled off the curb and he fell off his wheelchair, and I can’t lift him up.”
You swallowed hard and deep, but the lump that swelled down your throat was stubbornly sticking to its place. So, you did the next action that came to mind that made sense…
You went over to the boy’s brother, lifted him up, and helped him into his wheelchair. They both said their thanks and went on their way.
You made your way back to your cutting-edge, sumptuous, piece of art vehicle and stared at the little change on the passenger door. With the realization that you changed too, you smile at yourself and you thought, “I’ll keep it”.
Why would you keep a dent in a 6-figure luxury sports car?
It reminds you to slow down and pay attention. Many of us are accustomed to living life in the fast lane, and the only bouts of slowness come from being fixated on ourselves. For example, when you wake up, you would go through your morning routine. It doesn’t have to be rushed, but it is fast-paced. What stops you: The zit that suddenly popped on your forehead, or the nick on the tip of your chin while shaving? Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with this, but the dent doesn’t reminds us of slowing down and paying attention to ourselves…it points its fingers to others. How would your life be different if you transfer that same attention you gave to that zit or nick to other people?
It reminds you that sometimes what makes something perfect are its imperfections. I bet onlookers still stare in awe at the 6-figure Jaguar XJ, but when their eyes come to the noticeable dent on the passenger door, they’d ask, “What is that all about?” This is the time when the dent turns attention away from others back to you. You choose to ignore the image-bending grimaces, because you know the story behind it. Same way with me, when I go for a walk along the beach and passersby would take swift glances at my foot that only has one toe on it. I cringe a little, letting self-consciousness seep in, but I regain my composure and tell myself, “I know the story behind it.” Same way with you, probably, you would take a look at your spouse, your closest friends, or your family and you could pinpoint every bit of imperfection, but you love them to death. Imperfections take us back to wonderful stories: “We are all wonderful, beautiful wrecks. That’s what connects us–that we’re all broken, all beautifully imperfect.” ~Emilio Esteves
It reminds you that you can change. “People change for two reasons: Either they learn enough that they want to or they’ve been hurt enough that they have to.” ~unknown.
As nature takes its course it is often left unnoticed. Until years passed by and you noticed a wrinkle or you turn 30 and you developed a belly. Negative change can sneak up on you, but positive change is a different story. You think about it. You act on it. How do you turn that belly to a lean one? You think about what motivates you to do so. You start on a nutrition and exercise program. You learn enough. How do you turn a dented Jaguar XJ into a positive memorial? You think of what would have happened if you didn’t force the brakes. You acted on it by helping the boy’s brother settle on his wheelchair. You reflected on your ego and then the boy who did what he had to do. You hurt enough.
CHANGE IS THE MONUMENT OF THOUGHTFUL EXPERIENCE
Slow down and pay attention to others, notice their imperfections and love them for it, and finally, always change for the better.