The following short story depicts a universal lesson that I received the other day while setting out to accomplish an objective. The lesson was in Response-ability.
In preparation for an upcoming English to Spanish book translation project that I’ve been given the opportunity to complete, my mission today was to find some sort of computer language conversion program, or at the very least a Spanish keyboard; either one would help to save me time when adding the Spanish accents, tilde’s and punctuation marks. As well, I needed to check into buying a new Palm Pilot, or handheld organizer since the one I currently had was on its last leg.
So, armed with a good attitude and a smile, I entered Best Buy, which conveniently was located around the corner from where I lived. As I stood in awe at the entrance of that massive store, not sure where I wanted to go first, I did what I usually do in stores of that size, I looked around until I found one of the many roaming employees; then, quickly spotting one in the Ipod aisle, I caught his eye, and I gave him the universal head bob signal for help, you know the one. As silly as I’m sure I looked, he must have understood that I needed assistance because he began heading my way.
My first question to the young helper was, “Can you please point me in the direction of your Palm Pilots?” He paused for a moment, almost as if he was stumped by my question, and then answered, “We haven’t sold Palm Pilots for a while now since they’ve become part of the cell phone; now everyone just buys the Palm Pilot cell phone.”
Well ok I thought, a little stumped myself, next question then. “Can you tell me if you sell Spanish keyboards or language conversion programs for the computer?” I then watched as he pointed to the other end of the store and said, “You’ll have to go check in computers.” So I thanked him and walked on; strike one.
Once in the computer section, I spotted and signaled for assistance from another Best Buy helper. I explained what I needed and he walked me over to the Microsoft software section, pointed to a box and said, “The language conversion programs used to be pre-installed by Microsoft, but now they charge for the program.” The price was more that $200. He apologized to me for not being able to help more and pointed me to the Geek Squad to answer any further questions.
As I walked up to the Geek Squad counter, I again spotted and signaled for help, this time I was approached by a young girl. First I described to her my Israeli girlfriend’s computer keyboard, and how she was able to click on something that converted her typing from English to Hebrew, and I asked if they had anything like that here in Spanish.
I mean we do live in Arizona, right? Lots of Spanish speaking people live here; don’t any of them ever request a Spanish keyboard?
Anyway, she told me that they used to carry Spanish keyboards but were out of them and I’d have to order one on-line. I thanked her and headed for the door; strike two.
As I was walking out of Best Buy I noticed an elderly woman weaving and wobbling as she walked towards the entrance carrying a very large box. I asked her if I could help; she was so grateful, and told me that she would help me out in her next life. I smiled as I walked inside and gave the box to the Best Buy guy who stands at the door, who then placed the box into a cart. The woman thanked me again and again, repeating over and over how kind I was, and then she gave me a big hug, and we parted ways.
I felt as if my mission had just been accomplished! I knew then that I was sent to Best Buy for just that very reason.
Well, not being one to easily give up on a mission, I remembered that the Staples Office Supply store was in this same outdoor plaza, so I headed over there next. Once inside of Staples, I again used my handy dandy nonverbal eye signal to get some help. This time I was faced with a very eager young guy who proceeded to tell me the same thing that both the guy’s, and the one girl, from Best Buy had told me; that they don’t sell Palm Pilots anymore now that they’ve become cell phones, and no, they didn’t carry Spanish keyboards or language conversion programs. Then he pulled his cell phone/Palm Pilot out and for the next several minutes showed and told me all about its features, etc. Strike three.
I thanked him for his help, and as I was walking out he told me he was sure that the Fry’s Electronics, on 35th Ave. and Thunderbird, would have both of those items, he said, “that store has everything, it’s incredible!” For those of you who don’t live in Phoenix, AZ., 35th Ave. and Thunderbird, from Central Phoenix, is very far!!!
Now I was really motivated and determined to accomplish my mission. Imagine that, an electronics store that has everything, wow, I just had to go and see it for myself!
Well the day was still fairly young, so I got into my air-conditioned car, cranked the tunes, and started my short road trip to Fry’s Electronics. My drive was pretty uneventful until I turned off of the freeway at Thunderbird, and standing there at the light, I saw a young homeless guy carrying a sign that said, Homeless and Hungry.
Now just that very morning in the newspaper I had been reading about the dangerous problem that the homeless people are facing now that the Arizona heat has surpassed the 110 Degree mark, and my heart really went out to this guy. Remembering that I still had a couple of granola bars in my glove compartment from a long past road trip, I got them out, opened my window, and handed them to the homeless guy. He thanked me, then immediately opened one of the bars and began to eat.
Smiling to myself as I drove away, and giving silent thanks to the Universe, I felt again that my mission had been accomplished!
As it turns out, my small donation to the homeless guy ended up being the reason and purpose for this small road trip. I laughed out loud as I exited from Fry’s Electronics store, the hugest, most gigantic, mother of all electronics stores, empty handed, because, yea, you guessed it, they didn’t have either of the items that I was looking for!
Well, one might think that my story ends here, but no, there is more. There is a happy ending to my story!
Once I was home and at my computer again, I did what I probably needed to do from the very beginning, Google my question. So I typed into the search box, ‘Spanish accent conversion’ and wallah, a page with many links appeared. I clicked on the first link I saw, and illuminated right there, before my very eyes, was this amazing page that described exactly how I could use my own keyboard to make shortcuts and create the characters that I wanted and needed in Spanish. This incredible page had everything that I needed, free of cost, and with word-for-word instructions. It was almost as is it had been created just for me!
Now, regarding my Palm Pilot, no, I did not end up purchasing a new one on-line, instead I signed up for this incredible free service called BackPack, which my good friend and web designer, Lisa Roberts, had told me about the other day. On my created page I made several lists and notes which in the end did most of the things that my Palm Pilot does, and it only took me about 15 minutes to organize it all.
I understand now that my mission today included much more than accomplishing the two tasks for which I had set out. My feelings of accomplishment occurred only when I took a pause from my objective, became aware of the present moment, and then consciously and responsibly acted on my natural impulses.
I trust that everything happened today just as it was meant to, and that I needed to experience each and every part of this day in order to realize my true mission. Thank you Universe!!!
Until next time.
Love and blessings,