I was sitting at my son's bus stop waiting for him to get dropped off from school. I was reading Thomas Merton's No Man Is An Island, wishing I had something to underline a passage with.
I looked at a broken pencil on the ground before me that some high-schoolers had thrown from the back window of their bus the last time I waited for my son's school bus.
The pencil wasn't sharpened. Why couldn't they have thrown a sharpened pencil?
Just as I was thinking about this, the high school bus pulled up again. Teenagers unloaded, and I said hello to my neighbor's son, and went back to reading.
As the bus pulled away again, an object came flying out of the back window and bounced off my knee. It was an ink pen, and it worked.
I stood up and shot a big smile at the perplexed looking teens in the back of the bus. The looked thwarted and confused. "Thanks!" I shouted, waving the pen over my head.
Here's the passage I underlined:
"The best way to love ourselves is to love others, yet we cannot love others unless we love ourselves since it is written, 'Thou shalt love they neighbor as thyself.' But if we love ourselves in the wrong way, we become incapable of loving anybody else. And indeed when we love ourselves wrongly we hate ourselves; if we hate ourselves we cannot help hating others."