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One would think that by the time I reached middle age, I would know better than to challenge the force of gravity. Some of us, I suppose, are slow learners.

I’m not the tallest guy in the room (heck, I’m not the tallest guy in my family!) but a couple of Saturdays ago  I thought I could reach the top of an ambitious vine that had climbed up the side of my lovely old home…….…at least with the help of a ladder.

Unfortunately, my ladder is also not the tallest, and it was when I was nearing the top rung that I realized I also don’t have super balance.  The next thing I knew I was waking up in the bushes without even mentally experiencing the fall.

A few moments later, a kind young man nearing the age of 30, whom I’d never seen before, was leaning over the bush to greet me when I came to. “Hey man, you okay?” he said.

“Did you SEE that?” I asked him.

“Yeah” he said.

“Was it funny?” I said (even kryptonite can’t squash my humor with a brief knockout!)

“Yeah, I saw it, and no man, it wasn’t funny. You okay?”

I adjusted my partially scratched and contorted body (also my deeply mangled pride) and assured him I would be all right. I didn’t mention to this kind aide the huge knot I had growing on the left side of my head.

Convinced I had survived, he went on his way and I’ve never seen him since.

Later, I thought about his serendipitous appearance and felt gratitude that a stranger was there had I really needed help. Who was the young man on the other side of the bush? Does it really matter?

I think it does. At least so I could thank him more generously.

And with all that said, I think you would have done the same thing had you witnessed someone falling off a ladder. Most people would at least check to see if the slow learner was okay.

What I learned about service was that when we’re fully aware of our surroundings, we can make a difference.  In Ernie’s Journey, Don and I call it having your “Antennas up”.

And who knows, the next time someone falls, it may be your turn to be the guardian angel.

By the way, the knot is gone, my scabs have healed, and I didn’t have a concussion. As much as I’d like to wish I was Superman…………I’m not!………………..have a great week……………..Mark

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