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  • Writer's pictureD. Randall Faro

Keep Your Eyes Open

They’re ubiquitous. Most of them go unnoticed.

Padiddles . . . the American/Canadian slang term for vehicles with one headlight burned out. They are all around us, all over the road. A long-time hobby of mine is to look for and count padiddles when going from point A to B at nighttime. I’d see, for instance, twenty-two of them during a 30-miles interstate drive. Every now and then there would be one padiddle right behind another. I’ve seen three in a row several times, and my personal best is four in a row . . . honest! A couple of days ago I spied three padiddles on a four-mile city drive.

The average person simply doesn’t see them. A driver might notice the odd one but miss the other six that passed them. Yet if you look for them, you’ll be amazed how many padiddles populate our roadways.

There are many things in life that we miss simply because we are not aware of them. Some are inconsequential (like padiddles . . . unless it’s on one’s own car), but others carry a substantially more amount of weight.

A gorgeous sunrise. A giggling baby. The beauty, in appearance and song, of backyard birds. The gently spoken wisdom of an octogenarian. The list goes on and on of things that we all too often miss as we go about our hardscrabble, busy, beat-the-clock, crowded lives. With our noses buried in our so-called “smart” phones, it’s easy for so much of the world to pass us by.

A couple of days ago I was in the checkout line in a store. As an unkempt middle-aged man who obviously didn’t shop at Neiman Marcus came to the door from outside, another fellow with both hands holding packages approached from the inside. Outside-man, who was actually halfway through the door, saw inside-man and backed away, holding the door open for the latter. Just when outside-man was about to try entering the store a second time, he saw an elderly woman coming toward him. Again, he stepped aside and graciously held the door open for the woman. Observing these two wonderful, small random acts of kindness helped make my day.

With all the negativity in the world that temps us to discouragement or despair, it pays to keep our eyes open for the goodness, big and small, that counterbalances the bad. Not only counterbalances but outweighs the malevolent forces that appear to dominate.

There are manifold uplifting “padiddles” surrounding us. Noticing them might just make your day.

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