One Christmas when I was around 9 or 10 years old, Santa left a bow and arrow under my tree. It was a weird gift… to be sure, but I enjoyed it.
They came with this…Styrofoam target I would shoot in my backyard.
I was never much good, but I had fun with it.
And one day, I had a brilliant idea.
I went back yard. It was surrounded by a brick wall about six feet high. I drew the bow, and instead of pointing at the target, I went about ninety degrees higher… straight up into the air. I let it fly.
I don't remember how high the arrow went, but I do remember it coming down fast and landing on the other side of our wall. Into the barren desert… I thought
Not, as a plus-sized ten-year-old, I knew I was not about to climb that wall to retrieve my arrow. I accepted that I was now one arrow short, went inside, and moved on.
I went to the front door. It was one of those metal frame ones with a giant glass pane in the middle, so whoever was inside could see the visitor. I did not recognize the man on the other side of the door from me. But I DID recognize the object in his hand.
It was my arrow.
I called my parents to the door and stood there scared out of my mind while the guy explained that he had been working on his car when some random arrow had fell through the sky and punctured the radiator. My dad offered to pay for it then and there. He also threw in some tickets we had to watch the Phoenix Suns. I didn’t know what a radiator was, but I could tell by the way my parents looked at me that I had made an expensive mistake. Still, everyone walked away lawsuit-free.
Now, it’s finally hit me how that situation could’ve gone. I could have KILLED somebody. And I realize my mistake. I acted completely in a vacuum. I didn’t stop to consider how my actions would affect those around me. I didn’t even bother to consider anyone else beyond the wall of my back yard. Now, I can remember to pause, and consider the fact that there may be someone I can’t see on the other side of that wall. My actions will affect them, regardless of if I can see them or not.