I was in a Disney cartoon!
It was after the closing Mass at NCCYM… almost 10:00 pm last Saturday. I had gone down to the hotel buffeteria to grab a late dinner to take up to my room.
But I forgot to ask the server to put everything in a To-Go box… so I was carrying a tray with open plates and a drink in a drive-thru plastic cup with straw.
As I emerged from the elevator onto the 7th floor, there was a family of five waiting to get in… three kids ranging in age from 6 to 12-years old. We smiled at each other.
Two steps out of the elevator, my shoe caught on the edge of some metal track on the floor… couldn’t have been more than an 1/8th of an inch high… and I lost my balance.
Immediately, the cartoon animator started rolling the footage.
30-seconds of slow-motion
[I was in a Disney World hotel so I’m sure they will watch the security camera film and send it right on over to the animation department.]
It was about 30-seconds of slow-motion as I struggled with this tray of food trying not to go down to the ground while these five people behind me stood aghast at the idiot fool wondering…
Who is this amazing ballerina of clumsiness?
But more importantly… What’s going to happen to the food?!?!
Honestly, I don’t know how I managed it. By all counts, there should have been lasagna on the ceiling.
My knees were the first to hit / the tray went straight to the floor / not a single plate overturned / the drive-thru plastic cup spilled less than a third of orange soda.
I went down so hard that strawberry-scrapes went through my jeans onto both my knees.
Not a sound was heard…
The family of five didn’t make a peep… though they may have been smirking behind my back. I know they saw the whole thing because they almost missed the elevator.
As I stood to grab the overflowing soda cup, the woman said quietly… Are you okay?
Yes. I was mad. Not a single one of them made any attempt to step forward and help me.
We went our separate ways.
It wasn’t a huge mess but it took me two trips between my room and the elevator to get towels to clean up my spill.
Later as I was eating cold lasagna, the greater question rained down on me…
What example did those parents give their children?
Not one of care and concern for a neighbor in need… but a just-worry-about-yourself-and-let-others-take-care-of-themselves attitude. I hope they aren’t like that in all the places of their lives.
Isn’t that the tragedy of this day and age?
Sometimes, we are so afraid to step out and help… even in the simplest situations… fearful of the potential backlash of being a Good Samaritan.
So we feign ignorance and quietly step away pretending we didn’t see and hoping to remain anonymous.
Thankfully we have YouTube.
To show us snippets of people who care.
People who rush in and lift cars off of motorcyclists trapped in accidents. People who amazingly find a fire extinguisher to rescue a mother and her baby. Young Palestinian teenagers who risk bullets to speak out for education for girls.
Hopefully these inspirational videos will survive long into our future years so we can be reminded of the goodness in the hearts of this dying breed of people who risk fear and humiliation to be real servants of God.
I’m going to keep trying to give a good example to the world around me.
Help me. In your own way. Maybe we can grow the numbers of people who will do the same.
If you have a Facebook account, you might be able to go and watch the video at this link: Shocking! If not, then check out a little bit different version on YouTube.