Saturday, July 12, 2008

Ripples of Contentment

This happy kitty caught my attention as I was searching Flickr for a photo to go with this post. I'm not sure what he's chewing on, but he seems very content with whatever it is.

I'm feeling a bit content myself. Granted, things are (very!) hectic at work and JP's been worried about some things that she's been going through lately. However, a conversation with one of our neighbors left me feeling pretty good.

Shortly after we moved into our new home, a car was idling in front the house next door. It was well after 11:00pm and the volume on the radio was set to entertain the next state. JP and I were trying to sleep, but the pulsing beat was not particularly relaxing.

Now, I'm not one to harsh on anyone's entertainment, but I don't really appreciate folks who inflict their musical tastes on others. Plus, I'm kind of a grumpy bear when I'm really tired.

I got up, threw on some clothes and walked over to the car in question. The boy in the car was talking with the neighbor girl when I walked up. I mentioned the time and said that while his hours were his own affair, the music was a little loud on those of us who were trying to sleep. I nicely asked the boy to give the rest of us a break and started heading back to bed. He said something to the girl in Spanish.

I turned back and said, "Now, that's a bit childish, isn't? Trying to dog someone in a language you think they don't know? I hate to break it to you, but...um...hermano, intiendo EspaƱol. Some of us do, y'know? Now, can we go back to acting like grown-ups, turn the radio down, and get on with our lives?"

(I basically said, "Brother, I understand Spanish." I didn't mention that my knowledge of the language came twenty five years earlier when I took two years of it in high school; I didn't think that detail was particularly relevant.)

Sure, it was a little overly dramatic, but it was also effective. The boy looked stunned. The radio was silenced before I closed the front door behind me and the boy drove off before I got upstairs.
It was one of those moments that you tend to forget by morning. Except my neighbor apparently hadn't forgotten it.

Kara and I were playing catch in the street this evening and the ball landed in a bush in our neighbor's yard. As Kara went to retrieve it, I apologized. The neighbor shrugged it off and we started chatting. As we talked, he said, "Yeah, when you first moved in, you went out that night and talked to that kid about his music. We were ready to call the cops, but you had the balls to go out and talk to him."

I have to admit I really appreciated his comments. He continued, though, "and then, you talked to him in Spanish! That was soooo cool!"

It never occurred to me that anyone overheard that conversation, let alone that they would remember it. It was quite a surprise to learn that I kind of gained a fan from it.

We're often told that our actions have consequences that ripple. Typically, we don't get to see these effects unless they're negative. It was nice to see a positive one.

How are your actions rippling through your community?

Photo credit: Jorunn D. Newth

1 Comments:

Blogger Giggles said...

I admire the bravery! Great move, very classy....even if it was a bluff!!

Hugs Sherrie

5:01 PM  

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