Monday, 31 January 2011

Another Brick in the Wall

I was listening to random music on my mp3 player, tracks I had not listened to in ages. It played the song, another brick in the wall. I had not heard that song in ages but it started the wheels turning in my mind. I remembered a story I was told a long time ago of a true event, a story I want to share with you today, but first let me put it into a context.

I was finding that as I grew older I was travelling the same road as so many others. I was becoming the grumpy. Now when that happens something else happens, you begin to see all of life from your own perspective. So you no longer see the young lads having fun in the back field with their scrambler bikes, all you hear is the noise of the engines. The next thing is you begin to ask if they are insured are they old enough etc. I had to do something about that, get back to seeing the good side of things, be able to enjoy it with them. This story played its part.

A young and very successful executive named Andy was travelling down a busy neighbourhood street. He was going a bit too fast in his sleek, black, 12 cylinder Jaguar XKE, which was only two months old.

He was driving with some care, watching for kids running out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no child darted out, but a brick sailed out and with an almighty bang smashed into the Jag's shiny black side door!

He slammed on the brakes hammered the gears into reverse, and reversed the Jaguar back to the spot from where the brick had been thrown. He jumped out of the car, grabbed the kid and pushed him up against a parked car. He shouted at the kid, "What was that all about and who are you? Just what do you think you are you doing?!"

Building up a head of steam, he went on. "That's my new Jag, that brick you threw is going cost you a lot of money. Why did you throw it?"

"Please, mister, please. . . I'm sorry! I didn't know what else to do!" pleaded the young lad. "I threw the brick because no one else would stop!" Tears were dripping down the boy's chin as he pointed around the parked car. "It's my brother, mister," he said. "He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can't lift him up." Sobbing, the boy asked Andy, "Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He's hurt and he's too heavy for me, I need to get him home"

Moved beyond words, Andy tried desperately to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. Straining, he lifted the young man back into the wheelchair and took out his handkerchief and wiped the scrapes and cuts, checking to see that everything was going to be OK. He then watched the younger brother push him down the street towards their home.

It was a long walk back to the sleek, black, shining, 12 cylinder Jaguar XKE -a long and slow walk. Andy never did fix the dent in his Jaguar. He kept the dent to remind him not to go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at him to get his attention.

Some bricks are softer than others. We need to feel for the bricks of life coming at us. For every negative there is in life, with a little thought and time we can see that there is also a positive.

This is the way of the Tao.

This blog is linked to my other.  The Wall


  1. You would think that by now I would see the ends of these stories coming, but alas, I never do. Always left thinking and nodding my head, Ralph. Thanks!

  2. Nice post, Ralph, nice to be able to recognize the softer bricks when they come at us!

  3. Another helpful story that is so relevant to my own experiences...
    I sometimes forget that my little students are children. With all the pressure to pass state tests and have my "data" look good, I forget to celebrate the fact that I am so lucky to be with them all day and enjoy their childhood with them. Today we're going to draw pictures! I just decided!

  4. I love this story. I think I need the proverbial "ton of bricks" to wake me up sometimes!!! Or maybe I am a few bricks shy of a load..but hopefully I will them coming!

  5. Hopefully I will SEE them coming..what did I tell you..a few bricks shy....