Windshield wipers and front teeth have a lot in common to me. They both protect what is important inside, they both look funny in their absence, and they are both functionally practical. I found yet another commonality this past weekend during my 100 mile cycle, and that is that they both taught me a thing or two about life.
Sunday morning, as I drove the 90 minute drive towards Sperryville for my 100 mile cycle, it started to mist so I turned on my brand new RAIN-X windshield wipers. To my dismay, one wiper detached itself, bounced off my windshield, and flopped onto the road and did somersaults down the busy highway. Frustrated, I started my day grumpily for the hassle that it would be for me to replace the absent-without-leave wiper.
If you were to fast-forward my memories of the day to approximately three hours later, when I learned that one of my co-cyclists that day, Jack, had knocked out one of his front teeth while riding, you would come to understand how life taught me a sneaky little lesson through the glass of my windshield. Jack, who in great spirits, casually finished the seven hour without without one complaint about his missing tooth, put my complaining to shame. I had been generous that morning in sharing my windshield wiper grievances with everyone I had seen, that is, until I noticed Jack’s missing tooth. Jack smiled the rest of the ride, laughed about how his tongue just couldn’t stay away from the empty socket, and acknowledged that he will be more careful in the future when pulling off his biking gloves with his teeth. Suddenly, the inconvenience of replacing a windshield wiper seemed minimal compared to the inconvenience of replacing an entire tooth.
Remember, there is always someone worse off than you, so the next time that you loose a windshield wiper that can be cheaply and easily replaced, remember that there is someone who has lost a tooth and is still smiling.