When I walk from my house to the train station in the morning, I walk in the street. Every day. I like the street. There’s little traffic and while conscientious folks hoof on the sidewalk with a 48 inch path, I have my own white carpet boulevard – 20 feet wide. I walk against traffic. Near the curb. And as I walk, I keep my eyes peeled. I’ve found coins, bills, wallets, watches, cell phones, jewelry, a diamond ring (yep). And nails.
Life for me started in the cramped attic of a Chicago brownstone on Byron Street. Watching for pennies (and nails in the street) was inspired by my parents (see post of August 2, 2012). So I still pick up the pennies. And I still pick up nails. Whenever. Wherever. On my walk to the train station – or downtown. Or on vacation. I stoop over and pick ’em up. The file cabinet in my office at home sports a few of the more exceptional specimens (including a 9 inch monster).
Why do I still pick up nails? Maybe it’s my upbringing (we can’t escape some things). Maybe it’s the Boy Scout in me. I don’t want you, your child or my daughter. To drive over one of those sharpies and have a (potentially big) problem. Over the years, I’ve picked up hundreds of nails. And pitched them in the garbage. And displayed a few on my file cabinet.
We are told that small things we do can make a big difference. I know that everyone who reads these words – does small things. Big things. And more. Picking up nails doesn’t sound like a big thing. But who knows?