Kent Hickey, president of Seattle Preparatory School recent wrote an article about two someones leaving notes on his car after causing minor body damage. When he took it in for repair, the body shop mentioned that this wasn’t rare. Many people leave notes, however, when he shared the news with others he received an earful about no note and notes that left phony names and phone numbers.
Peter Maurin, co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement, said, “We must make the kind of society in which it is easier for people to be good.” Kent Hickey says, “A good society requires that most of us lead note-leaver lives.”
I’ve been the recipient of notes, twice. One was in a parking lot. I got inside my baby blue Beetle and was half-way up the hill on Pacific approaching the Pierce County Health Department, when I saw a note under the a windshield wiper. Someone had scraped my fender and left information for me. I had the damage repaired at no cost to me. The second note was when I parked my beautiful Infinity M30 Coupe on Hilltop’s Earnest S. Brazill Street. When I returned to my car there was a note on my windshield. Someone parking in front of me backed into my car and drove off. A person saw it happen and described the car, but didn’t get the license number. I didn’t even notice the damage. This was the second time within a week that I had been backed into. A few days later a grocery cart broke a rear taillight. The first accident paid for the front end damage. I sold the car with the broken tail light cover. It seemed like a bad luck car.
One afternoon Peg walked into our house and announced she had hit another car . . . just four houses down the street. No one had answered the door. I walked up and looked at the other car and when I finally talked to the owner they just shrugged it off.
I guess Peg and I are note leaving people. I remember when I was in the second grade at Stanley Elementary. My dad came home with someone’s wallet. He had picked it up in a mud puddle. At home we took out the ID and the money and laid them on newspapers to absorb the water. He was able to call the owner who came and picked it up. My dad refused a reward. It must run in the family. A couple of weeks ago my son, Patrick and I were talking on the phone and he mentioned that his son, Riley, had found someone’s watch and brought it home and gave it to him. Patrick asked what he should do. I said, “See if you can track the owner down.” Patrick replied, “That’s what I told Riley. It’s an expensive watch, so I told him look for a code to identify the purchaser.”
Doing good? Doing the right thing? I like to think it’s just about being kind. Kind people help others. I always fall back on the ending line of the Jaycee Creed . . . “and that service to humanity is the best work of life.” We’re all part of humanity, so we should all be kind. Kind people leave notes.