Waiting to pay for my poodle at the local dog day care center, I browsed the counter as the clerk signed in Molly. A sign declared: “We close at noon on Wednesday, New Year’s Eve. We will be closed on Thursday, New Year’s Day.” I re-read and calibrated. I felt pretty sure that New Year’s Eve fell on Thursday and New Year’s Day on Friday. I looked at the woman behind the desk, as she printed out my receipt. I had not seen her before: she was not one of the regulars with whom I interact at least once a week. I thought that maybe I could mention that the sign could be incorrect. I wasn’t certain, but I was pretty sure. It might be worth bringing up. I decided it wasn’t my problem or responsibility, took my receipt, and wished the woman a good day on the way out the screen door.
A moment. A window of opportunity. One small gesture, a small action that might have saved some bit (or a large amount) of confusion and inconvenience. I opted out. There is so much talk about the fact that the problems we face in the world seem so big and far away. “What can I do?” “What power do I have?” I have suggested, “Take care of your own world first.” “Take responsibility.” I failed to do it. I took no responsibility. I had a chance and I moved away. This is not the way in which I help the world and those around me. I blew it. And I saw it. I will try to do better next time.