Anyone could claim they were a nice person with good moral values while they criticized their neighbor and said worse about their enemies. Anyone else may not have noticed the hypocrisy happening along their own street, let alone the rest of the world.
But Casey’s papa wasn’t just anyone.
He had a superpower.
He noticed things.
He noticed his widowed neighbor’s lawn growing too long. Rather than complain about it, or call her names, he checked on her and made sure she was all right. When he found out she’d recently had surgery on her knee, he mowed her lawn that afternoon and every week since. He never asked for anything in return. He helped because it was the right thing to do and he was in the position to help. One day, he might not be able to. He might become too old and fragile himself—at seventy-three years old this seemed quite likely—but until that day arrived, Casey’s papa did what he could do.
Casey may have inherited her papa’s eye color, but she hadn’t been blessed with his gift of noticing—of seeing the world based on what she could bring to it rather than what it could do for her. She didn’t believe she was selfish. She admired her papa, but she’d never gotten the knack of following through. She wanted to be the best version of herself, to set the bar higher, to strive for perfection. Maybe that was her problem. Her papa didn’t worry about perfection. He only hoped to end each day better than it had started—not perfect, but better. If Casey had understood this truth, she would have seen she’d set her own bar far higher than her papa’s bar. If she could have noticed, perhaps things would have been different.
(297 Words Carrot Ranch 2018 Flash Fiction Rodeo)