Written by Shelley Plett Tuesday, 23 November 2010 15:36
“Despite popular belief to the contrary, there is absolutely no power in intention. The seagull may intend to fly away, may decide to do so, may talk with the other seagulls about how wonderful it is to fly, but until the seagull flaps his wings and takes to the air, he is still on the dock…. Have you ever considered how we judge ourselves by our intentions while we judge others by their actions? Yet intention without action is an insult to those who expect the best from you. I ‘intended’ to bring you flowers, but I didn’t. I ‘meant’ to finish this work on time. I was ‘going’ to be there for your birthday…,” —Jones from “The Noticer”
A couple of weeks ago I went to a high school production of “The Wizard of Oz.” One of my favorite parts of that show is when Toto reveals the wizard, who gives each of the travelers what they are looking for in ways they didn’t expect.
As a kid, and still today, I liked how he described the unpronounceable philanthropists as “good deed doers.”
This past weekend I watched the black-and-white “To Kill a Mockingbird” and I got to see one of my favorite characters again. Atticus Finch, the lawyer who stood for something—the guy who always had the right words. A rare role model who could live by the motto “do what I do.”
So I was in the right frame of mind to read “The Noticer” by Andy Andrews. It more than met the author’s purpose of offering new perspective.
Like many others at various times, I’ve had “one of those years.” I never wish away time, but I’ll be ready to turn the calendar Jan. 1. I know, I know…it’s just another day, but it’ll sure be nice to write a new number on my checks, freshen things up a bit.
We waste too much time wishing. And that’s a lot different than praying. Wishing is associated with throwing a penny into a fountain, for good reason. It’s a nice idea and feels promising, but the penny always sinks.
Enter “The Noticer” and Jones. He’s the main character, a little Atticus and a little wizard, a not-so-everyday hero.
I’m not the “noticer” that I should be, but I do notice the timing of things. If I need to hear something, I hear it. If I need to appreciate something, I am reminded to appreciate it. If I need to gain some perspective, a means is given to me.
Now that I’ve read this book (i.e. the means), I know why. I’ve been trained to look for it. And I have been shown through the best and the worst of circumstances that I have a long way to go.
He also helped me see that there are a hundred things in the first 10 minutes of waking up every morning that I could think about instead of the same handful that I do now.
So, for those who understand that, who can somehow relate, and who might be in a similar spot, I hope you will check out the book. It’s a good one. From one screwed up person (come on, we all are) to another, believe me when I say you need to meet Jones.
I finished the book tonight. And tomorrow, in its honor, my morning routine will change. I have a new goal: to be more than another bird on a wire. I don’t expect the world to change but maybe if I can reorganize myself and follow the routine I know I should follow (and actually want to), I can use the book as it was intended.
In the least, I can get out of the house in some other gait than a dead sprint, pushing my kids out the door, upset because they didn't have their shoes on 10 minutes sooner.
I’m sure it won’t change the world in that instant, but at least they won’t slink into the car, wishing I’d get a grip. That’s something.
Then we'll see how the next morning goes. It should be OK if I can keep my perspective.