Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hit and Run

Last week my NCIS Season 10 DVDs came in the mail.  Each episode is a treat in and of itself after I got rid of cable last year and became a Netflix-only household.  (As a single mother with a toddler, I was averaging about 30 minutes of quality TV time to myself a day so it seemed a real waste of money.)  Overall I have been pleased, but there are a few shows, like NCIS and Big Bang Theory, that I honestly miss.  

Anyway, one of the episodes really struck me the more I thought about it.  The title was Hit and Run and in it, Abby's character flashes back to a childhood "investigation" while working a current hit and run investigation and comes to the conclusion that all her work is for nothing as she doesn't change anything and bad things still happen.  Of course, Gibbs' character shows her what a difference she truly makes by just being herself and the episode closes with her smiling.  His speech is about her "hit and runs" where she does something nice that touches someone in ways she never knows.

It made me think, how often does someone pull a hit and run on us.  Truly hurt us in a way they'll never know with an action that may have been innocent in their eyes but truly hurtful in ours?  How often do we do that to other people?  To the extreme, this is the bullying and harassment that can lead to withdrawal and suicide by those on the receiving end.  More likely, it is the slow cynical chipping away of someone's positive outlook.

What about the good Abby-like hit and runs?  To the extreme these are those random moments when you do something nice for someone at a crossroads in their life and it completely changes their outlook without you even knowing what you did.  More likely, it is something as simple as a kind bus driver, coffee shop patron, or stranger on the street that makes you smile during the day.

So here's the real question.  Which type of hit and run do you want to be known for?  Even if you are already known for the bad kind, you can practice random acts of kindness, acknowledgement, and friendship with those around you.  What would it feel like to look in the mirror and know that you are a positive influence to those around you?  I know I want to know.