Kindness in Tow
Last week, the day after my birthday, I went out to the street to begin packing the car for a short family trip to Joshua Tree National Park.
Dads: you know how this goes. Packing the car is our job. Do I speak for many of us when I say we derive a sick pleasure—almost an obsession—from packing the car early, on time, and with precision?
We are, often times, captain, desk and ramp agent, and luggage crew, and so in order to get off the ground on time, the vessel better be ready.
However, what did I find when I went out to the street?
THE CAR HAD BEEN TOWED! (String of expletives here)
Yep, I failed to place our parking pass on it the night before. We live in an HOA community and I had been driving a rental because my car was in the shop. The security guards that come around our streets around midnight were just doing their job: calling the tow company on invading cars.
Due to regular family mornings (kids’ breakfast, plus, their usual shenanigans, and wifey not in any particular hurry despite this being a travel day), we arrived at the tow yard by noon.
I could feel the fee increasing as the clock ticked.
As I stood in line behind three other victims—I mean “customers,” I glanced at the towing company’s policies. One line specifically bored into my skull because it described my morning perfectly.
Caused by your own negligence.
Yeah, I knew the reason for the towing was my own fault, and as my turn came to pay my way out, I promised to myself that I would never let that happen again.
After forking over three-hundred dollars, plus, losing another 30 minutes trying to prove to the towing company that the rental was indeed under my name, I drove out of the lot. Just before the gate opened, I glimpsed another sign.
“Be Kind in all You Do.”
Thanks, towing company, for that small counsel on how to live.
But then again, maybe they’re right. Maybe for a short period of time, at least until our next act of negligence, we might exercise kindness; at the very least, to ourselves.