A wise person once said, “We could all take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.”
He was getting ready to go to work. He had a suit on, his briefcase in hand. It looked like a normal workday in Denver, Colorado—covered in white. He locked his front door, approached his Lexus, and shoveled his vehicle out of the snow
Then he drove off—just another typical day in December.
That’s not something us here in Orange County, Ca., have to worry about. But it’s something the people of Denver, Co., do, at least in the winter time. And it’s something people all over the world have to do. During our recent visit we came across several everyday locals either shoveling their way through the snow, helping someone else get through it, or clearing the way for those passing through. There were street workers with icicles on their eyelashes, pushing snow and making way for citizens. It was obvious the city knew it had to work together to weather the storm (no pun intended).
We didn’t exactly know what to expect in Denver. Unlike the wise gal across the street who had a shovel in her passenger seat, we didn’t really think of what to do if we got stuck. And of course, we were stuck. One loud thump and we knew our rental car found a sweet spot in the snow.
And before we could even get out to see the problem, we felt a nudge. A gentleman behind us was pushing our car, his truck pulled over to the side. I was overwhelmed by this act of kindness. Wasn’t he busy? Didn’t he have plans? That didn’t really matter to him. All that mattered was that he saw someone who needed help. And we never saw him again.
We witnessed tons of acts like this throughout our visit. It looked challenging, self-sacrificing and I found myself feeling a little envious at the end of the day. It wasn’t a complete feeling of sympathy I had for these people, it was a sense of community and a sense of strength I felt I was lacking.
It was a normal thing to them—interrupting your day to help someone out—and it was a very beautiful thing. It’s a beautiful thing when someone who has never met you will take a bullet for you, or when a group of people hold hands to get a stranger to safety during a flood. It’s a beautiful thing when no one cares what you look like—when all they want to do is save your life.
I went home to California with more wisdom and more respect for the people of Denver and people who deal with this kind of weather. The recent turn of tragic events have helped realized that I don’t need to be “stuck in the snow” to get a sense of community. I just need to be aware of my surroundings.
I encourage you to journey outside your norm and get a sense of community that’s different than what you’re used to. And while we’re home, maybe we can all find ways to stop what we’re doing to push someone who’s stuck in the snow.