By Ruthie Davidson
For Hometown News
I was waiting in a lengthy line at the water park with my daughter and nieces the other day. We were all excited to get onto the giant, looping slide that would toboggan the four of us into a speeding downward spiral of pitch black - that made us scream every time no matter how we tried to hold it back.
During the wait our attention was drawn to the little girls waiting in line just behind us. They started off behind us, but little by little they were next to us, and then toward the end of the line almost in front of us.
My niece and I exchanged scrutinizing glances; clearly they were trying to cut in front of us, as we'd noticed all along. I leaned in to Alinea and whispered "let's just let them have it."
We quietly discussed how unimportant it is to save like what - two minutes - just to skip in front of someone else in line. Finally at the top of the stairwell where we waited I went ahead and told them - "you can go ahead of us if you'd like." And of course, they did.
While we were waiting I could see that my niece was getting aggravated by these little girls - to be honest I just felt sorry for them, looking skinny, cold and up in this big line with no adult to keep an eye on them - an eye that says "You are important, I value you, so I'm going to keep a watchful eye on your every move in this big place." It seemed to me they'd probably learned to fend for themselves for quite a while. But I talked with Alinea and shared with her a simple truth that's been on my own mind lately. Those little decisions that we make every day determine who we really are.
Each choice you and I make, whether good or bad, is like "a finger pressing into clay, making you into who you are today." Whether we like it or not, as humans we are constantly growing and changing, learning, coping and adjusting. Who we were last year is not who we are now; we may be better, or not.
So put yourself under that microscope, I know, it's hard. Do you make right choices throughout your day or do you: sneak little lies to your spouse, friends or boss, snatch a little whatever here and there (it's not like I'm stealing) or do dumb stuff like litter? (I've actually busted a couple of people doing this lately.) I remember an important question the principal at South Daytona Elementary posed to her students during the last school year: "Do you do the right thing when no one's looking?" I know we can never be 'perfect' - who'd want to be, but can we aim for integrity and teach this to our kids as well?