Do you have any idea how quickly you can bash in a car window?
Blink. It’s that fast.
Have you ever intentionally shattered glass? It’s oddly entertaining.
How much can one shattered window affect the world? Can simple vandalism be life-changing?
Three weeks ago, as I was walking to my Scion, I noticed my front passenger window had been completely shattered.
“Oh no, my CDs!” was my first thought.
Once I realized nothing had been stolen from my car, I was instantly relieved. Immediately after, I was enraged.
I had just become a victim of vandalism. Though I was glad nothing had been stolen, I was irritated that my window had died in vain. There was no reason I should have a missing window!
One police report and $150 later, the problem was solved and gone forever. My life wasn’t changed, just inconvenienced.
Yesterday afternoon, my wife called me and said the back window of our Scion had been shattered.
She was crying when she called.
Worse than the missing window was that somebody made my best friend cry.
When I got home, the same police officer who responded to the last incident was just leaving. Due to the circumstances of the situation, he believes we are being targeted. In other words, somebody has it out for us.
We have no reason why or who it may be.
This back window is going to cost over $300 to repair. I hope it was fun to break, because I don’t know if I’ve ever spent $300 on a good time.
Now here’s the point of this story: Petty vandalism is changing our lives.
I’m not going to wait around for a third window to break, and our doofus window-breaker hasn’t been man enough to confront me in person yet.
We’re moving tomorrow night.
Perhaps this is a freak coincidence, but I doubt it. Either way, I don’t want to live on a street where my windows are regularly destroyed.
So let’s consider the consequences of a simple act of vandalism: When we move, our landlord loses tenants who faithfully pay their rent on time.
My wife and I have to take time out of our already-busy schedules to move. We will both take some time off work, which means two poor college students will be even poorer.
Let’s throw in that $450 on window repairs for (previously) perfectly good windows. Our savings is built slowly, like water dripping into a cup. That cup just got tipped upside down.
Last year, my best friend since eighth grade moved in across the street from us. This was a dream come true, but now I am moving across town.
My brother spent the last seven years living 1,600 miles away. A few months ago, he moved in one mile from my apartment. From now on, I’ll have to plan trips to visit him instead of just popping by.
Until we can move into our new apartment, we are living in my in-laws’ basement. Nothing like moving in with your wife’s parents to make you feel like a good provider.
Our commutes to work are literally doubling as of tomorrow night, so insert some sort of “environmental, greenhouse blah blah blah carbon footprint” jumbo here.
Somebody else will have to fulfill our responsibilities in our old church building.
We will no longer live 20 seconds from our favorite park, which was a huge selling point for us on our apartment.
And Ogden’s good name, which I fight so hard to defend, now has a black mark on it. Yes, from my own experiences, Ogden was so trashy that we had to move because we couldn’t afford the criminality of our neighborhood.
Way to go, doofus. Because of a simple broken window, our family’s history is changing forever. We thought we’d live here for years to come, but your inconsideration is causing us to move.
All right, maybe part of me just wanted to complain because I’m upset, but I promise I have two points I want to make.
The first: Don’t be a doofus. Seriously. Don’t break other people’s stuff.
And the second: Though our choices may seem insignificant, they can have incredible influences.
I doubt that our window-breaking doofus meant to make us move. I’d bet it’s just some dumb kids having fun at other people’s expenses.
Think before you act, because your simple actions could change somebody’s life forever.
To be positive, these small actions don’t have to be bad ones! Has anyone ever bought your lunch for you? That never gets old!
Make some good small decisions today. Leave a nice note on a friend’s car. Hold the door for somebody. Adopt a child from a third-world country and buy it a pony.
Just don’t break anybody’s windows.