Recently, I had one of those little moments that mean the world. It was a moment that could have gone off the rails at several points, but it didn’t.
A young man came into the library with his mother to explain what happened to the drone they borrowed from us. They returned the case, and the remote. But no drone.
His mother gently nudged him forward towards the help desk I was working and asked him to explain the situation.
Turns out the wind got the drone. And then the large field got the drone. And the creek they checked just to make sure it didn’t – didn’t get the drone, but the drone was gone.
The young man was really, really sad. There were tears, mom said.
I explained that he’d likely need to pay for the replacement cost of the drone. I cringed a bit as I did, because this is frequently the moment when I’m told that it was our fault to begin with, and that we never should have had the drone available for checkout because of course such a terrible thing would happen.
But this was not what lay ahead.
The young man, almost without hesitation, owned up to it and pulled out his wallet ready to make it right. The better part of me recognized the nobility of the young man in that situation and nudged me a little bit in the direction of grace and mercy while ensuring I remained a good steward of library property.
I paused, as one should frequently do when one is being nudged in multiple directions. And that’s when I realized that he wouldn’t have to pay the whole thing.
He’d returned several of the items, and the case we put the drone into. The price of the drone had decreased since we’d purchased it. I took these factors in and quoted him a reduced price, after which he opened that wallet with a satisfying Velcro riiiiipppp and that’s when his mother dropped another bomb on him.
She and Dad were going to split the cost of the replacement with him. Because they were nudged, it seems, by grace and mercy, too. So I left him and her to do some math while I attended to other things.
I like it when folks expect the right things from each other and help even though they didn’t have to.
That is, frequently, what’s right with the world. And so often, what we expect and what should be match up with what actually happens. I wonder if we so quickly assume otherwise is that we’re conflict averse and it’s easier to assume the other person is a bad actor in whatever situation might occur. I don’t so much like that fact about people and myself.
Just because many times this doesn’t happen doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t appreciate when it does.
So this morning, I’m reminded of that, and it’s helpful.
I sure hope that you take the time to notice and appreciate when things go right, too. And that maybe even, when they do, you see if there’s anything you can do in the moment to acknowledge that and nudge things to go just a bit more right.
I’d appreciate it if you would.