I don’t normally do news items but I’ll have to make an exception for this one. A Walmart worker in California was doing his usual sweep through the parking lot while on the clock, when he stumbled across a notebook. I’m assuming he finds usual items such as this every day, but curiosity got the better of him – and what good favors curiosity gives! –, and so opened it to see what it contained. Quickly he noticed the handwriting was that of a child’s but the personal reminders and maxims were of profound wisdom and decency that only one with a deep understanding of character could produce.
When we think of children, we usually imagine a complete disregard for the rules and endless discipline that we wonder if it will ever sink in. One child, however, has embraced the rules of life and has been writing them down as he learns them.
Inside this little notebook was a list of rules this child used in his life. And God love this little fellow because even though his spelling was incorrect in places — hey so is mine, and sometimes I pretend I’m smart — his guiding principles were spot-on.
- Don’t get into other people’s business.
- Don’t call each other names.
- Clean up your messes.
- No eating other people’s food.
- One hundred eighteen is don’t keep saying please if someone says no
It was about this time that the worker, whose name is Raymond Flores, realized he found the writing and thoughts of a young scholar, whose decency surpassed all the people he probably comes in contact with on a daily basis.
He said of the notebook’s words of wisdom: “I like that. They put a lot of hard work into it. These rules mean a lot to them and probably to the parents, as well.”
Some of other notable rules:
“Ware [sic] your seatbelt,”
“Put your shoes by the front door when you take them off.”
“Rule number 154 was to protect this book.”
Mr. Flores was so moved after reading that he has made it a personal mission to make sure this notebook gets back to its rightful owner. But that’s not all. He was also influenced by the decency of this creature, and the simplicity of its goodness, that he has made it a point to emulate the example.
In my previous life, I may have been inclined to draft this kid into Congress or the White House. Now I know that it would be a waste of time for the child and unfair to the politicians. This child would have as much in common with politicians as a mud turtle would have with a soaring hawk. Moreover, it’s unlikely that our politicians would want to associate with such human refuse. His very presence would be a grievous insult to those Hallowed Halls. All in all, a good thing; the kid would probably grow bored and depressed being constantly surrounded by the soulless and mentally unqualified.
No, I hope the child gets his notebook back and I hope he continues to live his life according to his principles. That he continues to influence those around him and lives long enough to have a hundred kids and grand-kids. That, more anything else, is what we need. We have entirely too much of the former.