I’m going to be honest here and say that I’ve screwed up a fair share of times. And I can say I’m pretty excited by the prospect of having a redo because nothing is quite as uncomfortable as the twisting feeling I get, in the pit of my stomach, when I think back to the time I picked up a pair of men’s underwear on the school playground, or the time I slapped a soccer ball out of the air with my hand on a whim. I’m imagining getting rid of that feeling all together with this re-do. Transporting back to the time and date of a little mishap and ridding myself of uncomfortable gut-clenching forever.
I’m not going to choose any particularly embarrassing moments though. I’m choosing to redo a moment that doesn’t make my insides curl, per se, but perhaps makes me disappointed in myself.
I was walking to soccer practice after school, out of the gym doors and across the road to where the fields lay ahead of me. I crossed briskly and began to climb the steps, thinking of nothing in particular, aside from casually noting the presence of a person following me.
I watched as someone crossed my path on the stairs. Then I watched as said person dropped his wallet out of his hand with a painfully obvious thunk, so obvious that I was sure he’d done it on purpose.
He kept walking.
I faltered in step, peering down at this dropped wallet, and then up at the person who had done the dropping, wondering why on earth someone would leave such an important entity behind. I hesitated.
There was a brief moment where I turned slightly to the person who was following me, gesturing to the wallet in bewilderment. And yet I did nothing. And soon my momentum carried me to continue on with the steps. So I climbed on and left the wallet, which luckily the person behind me was kind enough to pick up and return to its owner.
This moment is the one I chose to redo because I’ve regretted my inaction from that very moment that I turned away from the wallet. I would go back to this very moment and pick that thing right up and return it to the person who dropped it. I don’t want to be a person who panics, who stands by and watches as bad things happen.
I don’t want to be a person who lets others do the dirty work. It may seem small, the simple act of picking up a wallet, but it demonstrates the reflex of self-assured well-meaning I would like to develop. I want to be the person who makes an effort, who picks up the wallet, who does the right thing without a moment’s hesitation, and the person who ends up making the world better because of it.