Today I was driving along and swerved around a board in the road that had rusty nails poking through. 'A hazard' I thought, driving by. Then I pulled a U-ey and went back, put on my flashers and hopped out of the car. No one saw my good deed, I fetched the board from the asphalt and set it upright against a telephone pole at the side of the road. As I drove off again I found myself singing a little cheerful song.
No one traveling behind me today will be at risk from those nails. No expensive tires to repair or replace, no delay in travel, no accident from a sudden flat. The world is, in this one small way, a less treacherous place to navigate. If this is the only thing I accomplish today it will be enough.
The core ethic and equation of my practice as a coach and end-of-life navigator is this: resolve obstacles ~ reduce suffering. Today's little exercise in civic responsibility was a perfect metaphor for my work. I noticed a board in the road with dangerous nails, an obstacle. It did not take a lot of time to turn back, move it to a safer place, and head off again. Making this correction was hardly an interruption, the effort provided an opportunity to stretch and smell Spring rain riding the wind. And for someone else, someone I will never know, taking the time will result in a danger averted.
Resolve obstacles ~ reduce suffering. In this way the world is mended.