The Liberty Mutual commercials are the best commercials on TV. Have you seen them? They don’t say a word, it just shows a sequence of events through a city or random location where people do thoughtful things for someone they don’t even know without any desire for recognition. It’s really simple, too. The girl walking out of the coffee shop nudges the old man’s coffee away from the edge of his table on her way out the door, just because it was a little close to the edge. The guy holds the over-full elevator door for the girl running up to catch it. A man walking down the street picks up the kids toy that fell out of his stroller because his mom didn’t even see it fall. Here…..just watch this and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
My favorite part is the random onlookers that observe the various acts of unsolicited thoughtfulness. They just kinda see what happened and you can see in their eyes that they took notice, but didn’t make a big deal about it. Almost like they were a little surprised that someone did the right thing, but not blown away. Their slogan is brilliant…”When it’s people who do the right thing, they call it being responsible. When it’s an insurance company they call it Liberty Mutual. Responsibility….what’s your policy?” That’s how it should be. Don’t you think? Not the insurance part, but the “policy” part. When I’m trying to make a turn into heavy traffic that is way backed up and someone actually stops to let me get into the crowd I’m so surprised and grateful. It’s a bummer that that is so abnormal. It’s selfish. We’re all pretty selfish and it’s more the norm than being selfless. I guess its human nature.
Sometimes I find myself behaving completely out of character for the most unacceptable reasons. Emotional. Stress. Fear. Insecurity. I am not as nice as I could be some of the time. Sometimes it’s for none of those reasons, it’s just selfish and juvenile. Instead of thinking of how it will affect someone else’s feelings, I put my own selfish desires first and it is a really ugly thing to do. I can’t say I do that often, but I slip up. I lose focus on what is most important and I lose sight of who I REALLY am. Do you ever do that? Tell me I’m not alone. How did a Liberty Mutual commercial make me get all insightful and bear my soul? I guess I’m not exactly bearing my soul but merely admitting that I am far from perfect.
With that said, I’m going change the subject. What should we talk about? How about how I got a really funny text message from a friend of mine this morning? She’s works with foster kids and one of the kids has been having hearing problems for months now. Well, he went to the doctor this morning and guess what was wrong……there was a LEGO STUCK IN HIS EAR! How in the hell do you not see a Lego in a kid’s ear? I guess it’s not funny. Actually, it’s fricken hilarious! My little sister got a bead stuck in her nose when she was 3 years old. It has been up there so long that skin had grown around it. My mom just thought she had allergies and after a few doctor visits they spotted the culprit…the pink plastic bead up her nostril. I remember it was pink because I begged my mom to show me the bead when they yanked it out. I think she even saved it. So gross. I never stuck anything up my nose but I swallowed a penny and I got my head stuck in the banister. I think I just pooped out the penny eventually, but I was scared shitless when I tried to pull my head out of that banister and went nowhere. I went into panic mode and started pulling my head back really hard while holding on to the rails on each side with my hands. They were wrought iron bars so it’s not like I had a chance to make them budge. The more I pulled, the more I screamed and cried so my head swelled up even bigger. I looked like a blond melon with tears running down my face. My mom greased up my head with Vaseline, butter and anything else she could find. She probably even used some WD40. Finally she called the neighbor guy to come over with some tools and get me loose. I don’t remember how he finally got my head loose but I just remember my mom telling me to hold really still. I think I’ll ask her to tell me that story again next time I see her. She likes telling stories about when I was a kid but normally it really annoys me and I think she knows it. That probably hurts her feelings. I’m going to start asking her to tell me old stories because it makes her happy and I need to spend more time making my mom happy. She deserves it. We all deserve to receive random acts of kindness more often but sometimes you gotta take the first step and if you’re lucky, others will follow. If not, at least you did some good. “Responsibility – what’s your policy?” Good stuff. That’s all I got for now.
– Update 4/1/09: I asked my mom to tell me that story again about how I got my head stuck in the banister. She got all animated and explained to everyone in the room how I always had to find a way to get myself into trouble. It took over an hour to get me loose and they finally tried covering my head in Peanut Butter and pried the bars apart as far as they could so my purple, swollen head could slide out. It was totally worth the embarassment to see her smile as she told that story again.