Ever see something that needs doing and think, "Eh, someone else will do it?"
Like an overturned garbage can - "Someone else will pick it up." Or an empty roll of toilet paper - "Someone else will replace it." I know I've certainly left a lot for 'someone else' to take care of.
Maybe that's part of what's wrong with the world today: a lack of accountability. It's easier to walk away from something - tell yourself that it will somehow remedy itself.
But what if that 'someone else' never comes along to do it?
This morning I was out running and made a painfully disturbing discovery. About a 1/2 mile away from returning home, I came upon a tiny kitten that must have been hit by a car, lying dead near the sidewalk. Having had many cats in my lifetime, and having lost more than a few to cars, this really hit me hard. I got home and showered, but the image of the kitten stayed in my head.
Several hours later in the day, I was driving home from being out and about and passed by the same spot. The kitten was still there. My initial reaction was, "Someone else will take care of it," and I continued home.
But then I started thinking about the kitten's owner. What if it was a little boy like Bean and he was the one who found his kitten lying there? That's something he'd never forget. Or what if it belonged to an elderly woman? Maybe her only source of companionship, and she was left to discover it as she teetered out to get the mail?
I'll never forget the heartbreak I experienced as a kid when Louie, my favorite cat of all time, got hit in front of our house. He didn't die right away, and we found him and had to have him put down. That pain did something to me from which I've never quite recovered.
Then there were our other cats - Baby, Bear, Maggie, Pumpkin - that got out and just never came home. And while part of me is pretty sure they met similar fates as Louie, it's somehow more comforting NOT to have that closure. Maybe it gives me the hope that they just found a place to live that served better food than I did.
More than likely, 'someone else' had picked up those other cats from the side of the road. For the same reasons I needed to go and take care of that kitten. And so I did.
Because today it was my turn to be 'someone else.'