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It is the little things

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One of my favorite movie quotes is from the movie “Lord of the Rings”: “Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I found. It is small everyday deeds of ordinary folk to keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.” ~ Gandalf

When I read this quote, it reminds me of a traffic stop that I made when I was an officer. A young lady was driving 18 mph over the speed limit. I contacted her in northern Peoria.

I confirmed that her license, registration and insurance were current. I then asked her why she was speeding. She told me she was on her way to dental hygienist school and she was running late.

I explained that stretch of road has many traffic accidents on it and to be quite honest, I was tired of investigating the fatal accidents. I told her she needed to slow down because I did not want to see her in an accident. I started walking back to my patrol car.

She called out to me and said, “Is that it?”

I asked, “Are you going to slow down?”

She replied, “Yes.” 

I said, “Then, that is it.”

She then asked if she could speak with me on the side of the road and I agreed. She told me about the incredibly tough year she’d been having. She shared that when she woke up that morning, she decided to take her life. She prayed that if God would send just one person who cared, she would not take her life. With tears in her eyes, she told me I had answered her prayer. She then asked if she could give me a hug.

I did not get many hugs on traffic stops and I was a little hesitant. She was so sincere I hugged her back the same way she hugged me. It made my day to know I had saved her life.

Each of us has opportunities in small ways to make big impacts on the lives of others. When you have a choice, always make the decision that will have a positive impact on someone else.

Lesson from the bench: You can make a huge difference by doing something small.

Judge Watts’ web page is