Don't Let It Happen On Your Watch

The other day I was eating at my favorite place in Las Vegas, Sammy’s Dog House. It’s an outside stand where you order and then sit outside and chow your dog.

As I was sitting there, someone on the other side of the parking lot started honking their horn. And honking. And honking. And honking.

After one minute of honks, my thought was, “Man, I wish that annoying goober would pipe down.”

Then after 3 minutes of honking, I realized that the person might be in trouble. I pulled myself away from my Chicago Dog and Ranch fries (so good) and walked across the parking lot.

I wish I had something really awesome to report, but of course the honking stopped right as I neared the location. I looked at the different cars to see if someone was inside of one unresponsive, but saw nothing out of the ordinary. I returned to my dog and fries.

When I got back, there were four old folks enjoying their food. I saw them watching me and reported, “You know, after a while you just have to go check. But I didn’t see anything.”

One of the older ladies said, “I was real impressed that you went and did that. We were just sitting here mad at the person for ruining our lunch not thinking that someone may need help.”

I told them that you always hear about those stories where a kid was kidnapped amidst a group of people because no one stepped up to ask what was going on and I didn’t want that happening on my watch.

She was impressed enough to offer to buy my lunch. When I told her I eat there free, she offered a nice grandma hug instead.

I bring this up only to remind everyone how good it feels to watch out for others. Though there wasn’t anything to be found, it’s a satisfactory feeling to even try. And, as the elderly folks showed, failure to watch out for others brings a tinge of guilt.

There is a phrase from a Elder Holland talk that has always stuck with me. It is in reference to when God asks Cain where his brother Abel can be found. Cain answers, “I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Maybe the answer to that question is….”No, Cain, you are not expected to be your brother’s keeper. But you are expected to be your brother’s brother.”