CHANGING THE WORLD

Avatar_DavidBentley I was trying to finish handouts for the annual meeting at work so that I could pack my bags for a weekend men’s retreat. Naturally, nothing was working out. Reports and documents that I needed were missing or late. Instead of doing a simple printing job, I found myself involved in a mystery worthy of Ellery Queen. On top of everything else, my cough was getting worse and my energy seemed to moving in the opposite direction of my frustration at about an even pace.

While waiting for people to get back to me, I remotely checked my home answering machine. A buddy had left a message asking if I needed a ride to the retreat. Not having a cell phone myself, I didn’t have his cell number with me. It was in my address book at home. So I phoned his home and left a message that I needed to skip the retreat and go back to bed. I also sent him an email and messaged him on Facebook.

Over the next three hours, my mystery unraveled; and I was able to get handouts printed, collated, stapled, and stacked. Work done, it was time to head home and jump back into bed. Before leaving, however, I checked my answering machine one more time. There I found another message from my buddy about giving me a ride. Obviously, he hadn’t received my messages.

More frustrated than ever, I cursed all our technology that seems to complicate lives more than improve them. So to calm myself down, I went online to read a friend’s blog. He is spending six weeks in a monastery in South Africa as part of his sabbatical. He wrote about taking time to play games and color with children who stopped by the church for a meal after school. These children were from families devastated by AIDS. Having someone play with them and getting a wholesome meal was life changing. At the end of his blog entry, my friend wrote, "Sometimes it doesn’t take as much as we might think to change the world."

Suddenly, my frustration disappeared.

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About David Bentley

Avatar_DavidBentleyDavid Bentley, M.Ed., is an avid observer of people, places and events. He uses his storytelling and questioning skills to help himself and others think outside the box in an ever-changing world.

Comments about his column can be sent to davidbentley@sanjuanislander.com

© 2014 David Bentley